Great Britain picked up just their second win of their FIH Pro League campaign, seeing off Germany in a goalfest which ended 5-3 in favour of the home side.
Brendan Creed’s first international goal plus strikes from Liam Ansell, Phil Roper, Chris Griffiths and Harry Martin were enough to seal the points in a thoroughly entertaining encounter.
The visitors actually took the lead after just 42 seconds through Moritz Rothlander but Ansell’s 14th international goal – a lovely finish after a good turnover from Griffiths made it 1-1 after nine minutes.
Thies Prinz smashed a shot into the goalkeeper’s body and Sam Ward struck the woodwork at the other end but it wasn’t long before Great Britain took the lead from an unlikely source.
From a penalty corner rebound, Creed kept his cool to produce a splendid lofted finish into the net for his first goal in international hockey in his 79th appearance.
The second quarter followed a similar action-packed pattern. A well-taken penalty corner from Roper made it 3-1 but Prinz hit back almost immediately from close range to make it 3-2.
The high press was proving fruitful for both sides and with 24 minutes on the clock, Griffiths stole the ball high up the field and rounded the Germany goalkeeper to finish and make it 4-2 to the hosts.
Paul Doesch’s bullet penalty corner – his first international goal ensured there was just a one goal deficit as the sides went in for the break.
Just after half-time, Great Britain scored again, Martin expertly deflected in Adam Dixon’s pass from a penalty corner to make it 5-3.
The visitors began to push for a way back into the game. Ollie Payne, making just his third international appearance, pulled off two outstanding reaction saves and a solid block to preserve the two goal advantage.
Germany took off their goalkeeper and went to 11 outfield players in an attempt to salvage the match. Great Britain and Payne managed to see off a couple of penalty corners and close out the game for a well earned three points.
Player of the match Zach Wallace told BT Sport afterwards:
“It was a surprising result. We spoke before the game and we expected it to be tight. Germany are very strong so we thought it’d be settled by a goal here or there. We went out and tried to express ourselves and it was good to win the game in the end.
“Our counter is something we’ve worked on so to score some goals on the counter and to take some chances is really pleasing.”
The two sides meet again tomorrow at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, 17:30, live on BT Sport.