Olympic disappointment for Middleton and Team GB

Doncaster-born hockey star Barry Middleton's bid for an Olympic medal at the fourth attempt ended in disappointment as Great Britain's men were eliminated in the pool stage in Rio.

Monday, 15th August 2016, 8:02 am
Updated Monday, 15th August 2016, 9:04 am
Barry Middleton

Great Britain’s campaign came to an end after a 1-1 draw with Spain in Rio.

Sam Ward’s first half strike cancelled out a ninth minute goal by David Alegre.

But despite Great Britain throwing everything at the Redsticks, Bobby Crutchley’s side were left hoping for a favour from Belgium against New Zealand in order to progress.

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With the Blacksticks running out 3-1 winners over the already qualified Belgians, Great Britain’s draw was not enough and the team failed to reach the quarter-finals.

“It went sort of to plan in terms of the performance,” said Middleton, after the draw with Spain.

“We moved the ball well, worked them hard and created chances but things didn’t quite fall for us and we didn’t have the luck.

“The corner we scored wasn’t given and it didn’t go for us. Sometimes those things go for you and sometimes they don’t.

“You have to keep getting in the positions and the luck brings itself. Afterwards we needed some luck from somewhere else.

“Scoring goals is the hardest thing and we put a lot of work into that aspect of our game but it comes down to executing those skills when it matters,” he added.

“Spain have a good defence and goalkeeper, they beat Australia 1-0 so it shows what they can do.

“We were there but we didn’t take the chances. Sometimes that’s how sport goes.”

Great Britain beat hosts Brazil, drew with New Zealand and lost to Australia, but were made to rue a 4-1 defeat to Belgium in their opening game.

“The Belgium game, at this stage we can’t explain what happened,” said Middleton.

“If you look at the games after that we’ve played better but the first game put us on the back foot.

“Results had to come and we shouldn’t be relying on other teams.

“We were perhaps a bit panicky against New Zealand but that’s how tournaments go.”