England men’s hockey team got their Commonwealth Games campaign off to a winning start with a comfortable victory against Trinidad & Tobago.
England won 4-0 thanks to goals from Simon Mantell, Ashley Jackson and Alastair Brogdon.
In a one-sided match, in which England lost Glenn Kirkham to a dead leg early on, Reading forward Mantell netted twice in the first half with Jackson, the World Young Player of the Year, and Bowdon’s Brogdon adding two more in the second.
In particular, Mantell’s first goal showed a touch of class as he escaped the attentions of three defenders to deftly flick the ball beyond the advancing goalkeeper.
The 26-year-old put it down to being in the right place at the right time.
“Both my goals were what you’d call typical forward’s goals,” he said. “It’s just about getting in that space in front of the goalkeeper. Credit to their goalie, he made some a few good saves today.”
Ranked fourth in the world against their 29th placed opponents, an England win was expected and head coach Jason Lee knows there are tougher tests to come in the competition.
Alluding to the high temperatures and stifling humidity, Lee said: “I think Canada and South Africa will be our two big challenges; they might be more of a grind than a spectacle though.”
England meet the first of those sides, Canada, at 16:00 on Thursday afternoon and play South Africa at midday on Sunday.