Despite a first ever international goal for Brighton-born Ashleigh Ball, England women’s hockey team fell to their first defeat of the tournament today, losing 4-1 to New Zealand.

Ball, 24, who now lives in Cheltenham, opened the scoring for England in the 14th minute but the Blacksticks hit back with two goals before half time.

The start of the second half saw England press for an equaliser but with experienced Nottingham-born Helen Richardson temporarily off the pitch following a yellow card, New Zealand made their numerical advantage count as Glynn bagged two goals in three minutes to put the game out of reach.

The goals killed the match as a contest and afterwards England Head Coach Danny Kerry said New Zealand were worthy winners.

“New Zealand were better than us today and they deserved their win,” he said. “The first two goals were very poor from our perspective; that’s not where we’re at. When we were short with a player off the pitch they got their goals. We had too many people off their game today.”

The result puts renewed emphasis on Friday’s early match against Malaysia. The Malaysians sit third in pool B, three points behind second-placed England.

The clash at 9.30am is the final pool fixture for either side with the top two due to progress to the semi-finals.