A dramatic two minute spell has cost a devastated Barry Middleton a dream medal at the Hockey World Cup in The Hague.
England, captained by Doncaster-born Middleton, were beaten 2-0 by Argentina and have now lost the bronze medal match in consecutive World Cups.
And Middleton admits that coming so close to a medal for a second time before the side’s loss of concentration cost them two quick-fire goals will not be easy to forget.
“Give me a few days time and I might look back on it better, it is pretty hard to take right now,” admitted the Bessacarr sportsman.
“We knew what this tournament was going to be like and we made a couple of mistakes and they scored a couple of good goals.
“They were probably ones we could stop.
“It is pretty demoralising to lose to a couple of bad minutes when the game had been so tight.
“We have played how we wanted to but we just didn’t do enough in the end.
“It has been an amazing tournament with everything that has gone on and the journey we have been on to get here.
“But we wanted a medal so badly and this is going to hurt pretty bad,” he added.
England were in the bronze medal match having lost to hosts Netherlands in the semi-finals.
However, the Netherlands suffered heartbreak of their own as the host nation were downed 6-1 in the cup final by Australia. Chris Ciriello’s hat trick helped Australia on their way to retaining the prestigious cup.