Scotland Men hit Ghana for seven in final match

SCOTLAND 7 (Walker, C Golden, J Golden 2, Harwood, Duke, Morton) GHANA 2 (Ankomah, Tettey)

 Scotland’s Men finished their Commonwealth Games campaign with a well-deserved 7-2 win v Ghana at the University of Birmingham Hockey Centre.

The win gives the Scots ninth place in a tournament where they came so close to beating higher-ranked nations. They have provided fantastic entertainment for their loyal supporters, and this match was no different.

The Scots immediately went on the attack and Rob Harwood’s shot missed by inches before Jamie Golden’s effort was superbly saved. Andy Bull’s pin-point aerial ball almost set up a goal but it was scrambled away.

Finally the pressure paid off in the 7th minute. Lee Morton, captaining the side in the absence of the suspended Alan Forsyth, showed great skills to set up Cammy Golden, whose shot was saved. But Struan Walker reacted quickly to slam the ball home to open the scoring.

Ghana began to settle and earned a penalty corner after 12 minutes but Bull charged it down. The first quarter finished 1-0 with both sides struggling to break down well-organised defences.

The Scots began the second quarter brightly and went 2-0 up after 19 minutes. Rob Field showed superb skills before sliding a perfect pass to Cammy Golden to slip past the keeper.

The Blue Sticks’ midfield were cutting Ghana open with their skills and movement. However, the Africans were always a threat and a fast break brought a brilliant reflex save from keeper Dave Forrester. And Forrester saved the day again when he slid out to make a perfectly timed tackle when a Ghana forward broke in the last minute of the half. The first half ended 2-0.

Scotland v Ghana, 6/8/22
Photo: David McCarthy

Ghana began the second half brightly and Callum Duke received a green card, and the Africans immediately reduced the deficit. A well-worked move found Emmanuel Ankomah in the circle and he turned and smashed the ball home.

The Scots responded quickly and Cammy Golden was fouled to win their first penalty corner but brother Jamie’s flick went narrowly over the bar. Six minutes into the half it was 3-1. Rob Harwood won another penalty corner and an unstoppable drag flick from Jamie Golden flew into the top corner.

The pressure caused the Ghanaians to lose their discipline and they went down to nine players following simultaneous yellow and green cards.  However, the Scots couldn’t take advantage and it remained 3-1 at the end of the third quarter.

Head coach Derek Forsyth’s team-talk clearly hit home as the Scots scored 40 seconds into the final quarter. Struan Walker was picked out in the circle and his pass was superbly deflected into the net by Harwood to make it 4-1.

A minute later it was five when Duke smashed the ball into the far corner from Walker’s pass.

The Scots were on fire and it was 6-1 after 51 minutes. Duncan Riddell’s injection from a penalty corner saw Jamie Golden score his second goal of the game. And two minutes later Field’s quick thinking set up Morton to make it 7-1.

But Ghana kept fighting and they received the loudest cheer of the day when Francis Tettey slid in to score from Ankomah’s shot. Great goalkeeping from Acheampong denied Robbie Shepherdson, Field, Walker and both Goldens, but it finished 7-2.

Both teams should be proud of their efforts in this tournament.  The Scots scored eighteen goals in their five matches but were undone by conceding late goals in their pool matches. However, they can look forward with confidence to their EuroHockey qualifier at Uddingston later this month. Ghana have provided great entertainment and played some fantastic hockey.

Callum Mackenzie, Scotland v Ghana, 6/8/22
Photo: David McCarthy

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