Scotland 1 – 1 USA
In the 3rd and final game of the test series it stands at one win for either team. Today is Scotland player Hamish Imrie’s birthday and Great Briatin and Surbiton star Alan Forsyth makes a return to the side. Alan Forsyth being the star Scottish player during the European Championships II tournament in the summer of 2017, winning the top scorer award. In the absence of Chris Grassick and Gordon McIntyre, Gavin Byres captains the host nation.
Scotland push back and within 40 seconds attack down the right hand side and into the ‘D’, but walk the pitch off of the baseline. In the fourth minute Scotland pounce on a poor USA pass , on the half way line and quickly move the ball forward, but a poor first touch from the attacker allows the USA keeper Johnathan Kleges to clear the ball. In the fifth minute Scotland win a short corner that is saved by the keeper and leads to a second corner. The American number 14 is sent to the half way line for breaking the line early. A third short corner is given in quick succession for a lifted ball. This time Scotland play a variation to the second castle , which is then switched to the first castle , the shot is taken, saved and then Michael Bremner pops up to score the rebound.
As the first quarter comes to an end Scotland are playing a lot much more direct style of hockey than in the previous two games. The score at the break is 1 – 0 to Scotland
In the second quarter Scotland continue with their nice forward passing patterns, as Bremner intercepts the ball on the halfway line, drives forward into space and plays a square pass left before moving back to the right hand side and into the ‘D’. The move breaks down, but it’s a big improvement on the last few days.
Pat Harris is impressive for the USA and looks dynamic in bringing the ball forward.
Alan Forsyth gets the ball high up the pitch, plays it to the right and makes a run to the back post. The ball is squared to him, but the shot is just wide of the left hand post. Shortly after this the USA create a chance themselves that goes begging. In the ninth minute Hamish Imrie takes a ball to the foot and retires to the sidelines. In the 10th minute Byres intercepts the ball on the half way line and starts a counter attack. The proceeding shot forces a good save by Kleges. In the last minute of the half the USA apply a bit of pressure on the Scottish defence, but all efforts are repelled. With three seconds remaining before half time the Americans manage to get a shot off, but Gordon Alexander in the Scottish goal gets his left hand glove to it.
As we get into the third quarter Part Harris is still looking to keep possession and move the ball forward for the USA, along with American skipper Asai Dhadwal, who is acting as pivot at the base of midfield. The USA provide a bit of sustained pressure, but the Scots handle it well and manage to win themselves at corner at the other end of the pitch for a foot in the ‘D’. This is deflected wide by the American defence. In the 10th minute Scotland have a period of assertiveness and play a few passes into attacking corners, in order to hit the baseline, but to no avail.
The USA dominate in the final phases of the third period, but the Scots seem to be intentionally conceding possession higher up the pitch in oder to defend the 25 yard lined true enough with 20 seconds remaining the instruction from the coaching staff was to keep tight. The score at the end of the third quarter remains 1 – 0 to Scotland.
The fourth and final quarter of the test series gets under way and within 30 seconds the tourists have attacked down the right hand side for USA and Mannheimer HC player Aki Kaeppler to tap in at the far post to score the matches equaliser. This forces the Scots to come out and attack. There was almost a successful combination in the American ‘D’ but this is dealt with by The USA defence. In the 11th minute of the period there is a lovely and possibly best move of the game from Scotland going left to right, which allows for a pass to flash across the area, but the Scots are unable to find the all important final touch at the far post. With 15 seconds of the game remaining, with the result of the test series in the balance, the Scots have their ball carrier up ended in the ‘D’ and have a big shout for a penalty stroke turned down, by the umpire, much to the chagrin of the Glasgow crowd. The game finishes 1 – 1 which ties the three game test series, with a win and a draw for both teams.