Hockey World Cup: England men lose to Australia in warm-up

Barry Middleton
Barry Middleton is now England and Great Britain's most capped player

England's men lost 2-1 to Australia in a test match at Bisham Abbey as their World Cup build-up continued.

Phil Roper's first-half goal gave England the lead, but world number one side Australia levelled before scoring the winner from a penalty corner in the final minute.

Captain Barry Middleton became England and Great Britain's most capped player as he stepped out for the 308th time.

The World Cup starts in the Netherlands at the end of May.

"It's very disappointing to lose to a highly-ranked team after a fairly evenly matched game, however I thought we could've done better with a number of chances that we created," said head coach Bobby Crutchley.

"As a player Barry is a consummate professional; his approach to both his training and his own personal development allows him to keep making improvements even after a decade of playing at the very top."

The two sides meet again in another test match at Bisham Abbey on Sunday, starting at 16:30 BST.

England begin their World Cup campaign in The Hague against Spain on 31 May.

Australia, Belgium, India and Malaysia are the rest of the opposition in Pool A with the top two teams qualifying for the semi-finals.

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