0.00' OK - good afternoon everyone, the PA announcer is going through the Japanese squad, and the England boys have just finished their build-up drill
0.00' Its not clear yet who will start in goal - although it would be tough to sit Will after yesterday
0.00' I can see Tom Gosnay sitting on the bench in street clothes - a pair of crutches leaning by his left side... will try and get an update on that at halftime
0.00' Another hot day- and a bit of a "Monday crowd" right now... but that doesn't stop the England faithful belting out the national anthem
0.00' Well that's the first question of the day answered - Big Mac out with the starting ten
0.10' Gallon v Yamanaka --- this will be interesting writing text commentary for the Japanese squad. Nathan Singleton picks up off the wing.
0.10' Bryant, Flowers and Brauch are the first string
0.30' Patient start for England. Flowers with the first shot behind the back from in close The guys are obviously nicely relaxed.
0.30' Shot wide. Another shot from Flowers saved by Shinohara. Japan ball
1.30' Reynolds, LeSueur and Beadle have started up front
2.30' First settled offense fo the day - Gaz Morgan, Tom Williamson and Joe Duncan have started in defense.
3.00' First blood for the Japanese - Muramatsu with a quick give and go and righty finish.
** Goal: JAPAN ** ENG 0 - JAP 1
4.10' Wallace, Caplin and Green are the second string through the midfield.
4.30' Much for direct dodging for Wallace, showing he couldn't find a look inside. Turnover - Japan clear
5.20' England's first flag of the day - Dan Green has taken a seat in the box.
5.30' Water break on the field
5.35' England MDD group: Singleton, Ellison, Morgan, Duncan, Williamson
5.40' England box 4, shut 1 with Ellison
6.00' Good work from the box 4 - eating up the clock nicely here and giving nothing away inside.
6.30' Japan throw it away from X and England have killed that penalty nicely
7.15' Much more aggressive from Bryant and then Reynolds. Mark got to 5 and 5, faked a roll back inside and then wrapped a low shot around his defender into the faw bottom corner.
** Goal: ENG ** ENG 1 - JAP 1
9.00' Japan ball from the FO
10.00' Japan being patient dodging and redodging until they get what they want, but the England poles are sliding hard and early and making it difficult for them. Eventually they get too aggressive and it looks like they pick up a flag (Ellison) just before the referees call time out.
10.20' England man down group with Green on the short stick shut off.
11.00' Japan seem determined to wait until the crease opens up - a good policy as eventually Oe floats free on the backside
** Goal: JAPAN ** ENG 1 - JAP 2
12.00' Good GB by Ellison on ensuing FO and the first string of middies is back on the field
12.10' Dave Bryant wastes no time with his speed dodge downt he right channel - finished in the near top corner
** Goal: ENG ** ENG 2 - JAP 2
13.25' England are pushed on the FO and the second string are on the field. Caplin unlucky to have a goal disallowed after running through a moving pick.
14.00' Japan can't settle - they look like the day 2 Japan as opposed to the day 1 or day 3 Japan right now
14.30' England dodging with much more purpose than yesterday, but a loose ball inside to Bryant from Beadle is picked up and the Japanese break
15.30' Eventually the break finds Maeda who does a great job of finishing high off-stick from 12 yds - Big Mac wants that one back badly
** Goal: JAPAN ** ENG 2 - JAP 3
15.40' Gallon with Sam Patterson and Andy Ellison on his wings at the FO - play on foul on Gallon, Japan ball on the restart
16.30' Japan are still assisting on wing dodging and trying to feed the first cutter - thank you very much - says Ellison
17.00' Second string midfield, Dan Green dodging
17.15' LeSueur tries a tight angle jumper - Japan clear.
18.00' Nathan Singleton is starting to bully the Japanese through the midfield and they cough it up half way.
18.30' More possession for England - they look good when the dodge at the goal
19.00' ... but less good when they run laterally with their defenders. both goalies exchanging point blank saves off shots coming cross-crease. Big Mac's was top drawer - England clearing
20.00' QUARTER TIME
20.00' Much better from England who are winning some physical battles and really having a go at the Japanese
20.01' Tom Gallon with Singleton and Ellison on the wings on the face.
20.10' Udagawa breaks quickly, but mishandles and Singleton is there to clean up the mess.
20.45' Japan proving they they too can be physical and snuff out the England attack. The teams exchange breaks, Big Mac makes a big save, but Udagawa cannot stop LeSueur's effort across his body. Good look from Reynolds there.
** Goal: ENG ** ENG 3 - JAP 3
23.00' Tom Caplin not only plays some good shortstick defense, but leads the transition as well until he stops his feet and the Japanese LSM catches up with him.
24.14' England retain the ball and are having success with quick movement through X. Matt Beadle curls inside from the wing and finishes high off-stick
** Goal: ENG ** ENG 4 - JAP 3
25.15' Japan still looking rather clueless on offense. Not settling the ball and chucking it inside at completely inappropriate moments. Time out on the field. England clear on the restart.
26.00' Joe Duncan carries for an easy clear and Japan have decided to shut Bryant. It's all starting to come together for England. Brauch forces a slide, dumps it down to Reynolds and LeSueur was naked on the back pipe.
** Goal: ENG ** ENG 5 - JAP 3
27.50' Japan wing dodging on the shortsticks, but not getting good looks on BigMac. Another clear from England.
28.20' Japanese coaching staff are not happy with their offense's decision-making and call time out while they're actually playing defense
28.20' Japan have elected to drop into a 6 zone, challenging England to shoot from the outside. Coach Ellwood isn't a big fan... and calls his own time out.
28.30' England start with an open set before Brauch rolls inside. Caplin take the outside shot and the Japanese goalie makes a good stop low.
29.40' Japan break, have a shot saved by Big Mac and pick up the rebound.
30.00' England are using less defensive specialists than before. Flowers and Caplin are staying on the field at both ends. Morgan picks up a ticky-tac slash call behind X, but Japan can do nothing while the flag is down.
30.30' Japan in a 3-3
30.45' More shooting from 12 yds on Big Mac. Flawed strategy. England are working to kill the penalty.
31.30' Mission accomplished.
31.40' Mark Reynolds can run around his long pole in his sleep. England unlucky to capitalise there, but the Japanese are forced to foul - one minute for cleaving. England EMO
32.40' Broken play by England - but the ball comes loose to Reynolds up top at 12 yds. Good finish low.
** Goal: ENG ** ENG 6 - JAP 3
34.00' England ball off the FO
34.15' Good save by the Japanese goalie off Beadle. LeSueur immediately picks up on the end-line and goes straight to the cage. Another good save. Where was this yesterday?
35.00' Japan clear
35.30' The ball is the size of the moon for Big Mac right now. Another shot gobbled up low.
35.45' time out on the field
36.00' Wallace, Flowers and Green on the field as England mix it up
36.40' England creating good open looks now. Matt Beadle fails to finish with a good chance in tight and Japan are clearing
37.30' Japan have no ideas - a desperation hidden ball trick, expressing their frustration
38.15' First mistake in a while by England. They throw the ball away on the clear and Japan get a free 1v1 with Big Mac. The crease attackman shoots wide. McAllister with 2 more great stops and England clear.
39.00' Time Out
39.30' England ball after referee time out, running a regulation 1-3-2
40.00' Japanese goalie with his best stop of the day denying LeSueur as he drops to his knees. Time expires as the Japanese clear.
40.00' HALF TIME
40.00' A great relief for the England shortsticks, and the longpoles have not dropped their level, leading to a promising halftime lead.
40.00' The offense is generating many, many more shots - which is good as England still are not up to par finishing yet
40.00' Japan played the last game yesterday, and the first one today, and it looks like as they drag themselves into the locker room
40.00' Green and Caplin leading out the England lines with heads held high...
40.01' Gallon with Ellison and Singleton on the face
40.01' Japan jump early and the first string midfield comes through the box
41.00' England force it inside one too many times and it comes lose to a Japanese middie who clears
41.30' Japan really need the next goal here. They haven't scored in 26 minutes
42.20' England getting some breaks now - Flowers feeds the ball to Matt Beadle on the crease, who completely misses it, as does the Japanese keeper to put Englnad 4 up.
** Goal: ENG ** ENG 7 - JAP 3
43.30' England fail to covert their possession off the face. Japan clear.
44.00' Big Mac starts where he left off, filling all 36 sq ft it seems.
44.30' Japan keep the ball off a loose shot, but Dan Green turns the ball over behind and England break.
45.10' Not quite up to full flow yet with LeSueur throwing behind Reynolds who was already thinking about the shot. Japan ball back line
45.10' Time out
45.40' Japan ball on the restart. England decide to jump the Japanese with a full-field ride, which initially works well until they find their high and away defender by the box. He runs down unchallenged and half-shoots, half-feeds the crease attackman. It was enough to beat an unsighted McAllister
** Goal: JAPAN ** ENG 7 - JAP 4
46.00' More good work on the FO from Gallon
47.00' Gallon is doing most of the work with Wallace elevated to the second midfield string
47.40' Japan are chasing sticks on the perimeter and good ball movement allows Matt Beadle to walk inside with a couple of face dodges and finishes England's 8th of the afternoon
** Goal: ENG ** ENG 8 - JAP 4
48.40' Hasimoto picks up the FO and does well to fend off Singleton. Japan still very ropy with possession.
49.30' At last some creativity from Japan who flipped the pass inside underhand off a wing dodge. England forced to foul the crease attakman. Japan EMO
50.30' Better from the Japanese, but Gaz Morgan brutally punishes the shooter. The referees see it as a late hit - I thought it was a great hit. Goal by Maruyama
** Goal: JAPAN ** ENG 8 - JAP 5
50.30' Mass confusion on Englan's man-down FO. Ellison and Singleton are running wind sprints between the restrainers. The refs have to eventually call a delay of game.
51.40' all even
51.45' The Japanese force another pass inside and Singleton picks up a loose ball and sprints the length of the field before finding LeSueur at the back door.
** Goal: ENG ** ENG 9 - JAP 5
53.30' The Japanese attackman at X runs a lefty sweep all the way around the goal and actually gets into a good shooting position, but no one has replaced him to back up his shot. England ball on back line with Big Mac
54.20' England's first string of middies on the field, but Bryant uncharacteristically overthrows LeSueur and Japan clear.
55.30' Big Mac makes a save he knew little about, the ball rebounding off his shoulder and onto the cross bar. England partially clear but LeSueur couldn't corral a tough pass at the sideline. Japan ball on the restart.
56.00' Time out on the field
56.30' Japan offsides on their clear, England work the ball back to offensive end
57.00' Green, Flowers and Caplin through the midfield
58.00' Flowers tries to do a little too much and loses possession and then compounds his problems by tripping the Japanese ball carrier as he fights to get back ball-side. Japan EMO
58.45' All even
59.15' Another "You're too big to hit a guy that small" call on Fred Lee.
59.30' Japan looking to pick up a goal before the quarter expires, but England hold firm. Just 20 minutes away now from a desperately needed win.
59.30' Flowers, Brauch and Green work the midfield.
60.00' 3/4 Time. Japan have to score the next goal or you sense England will accelerate away from here.
60.01' England ball on the restart. Dave Bryant will handle the clearing duties from the back line.
60.01' England clear half the field for Bryant. Get ready for a track-day sprint
60.30' Pesky Japanese defender is quick, but Bryant for once can use his size as leverage.
60.45' Reynolds, LeSueur and Beadle have yet to leave the field this game.
61.30' England attack breaks down as LeSueur overthrows Green, but Japan return the favour by immediately stepping in the crease.
62.30' AJ Beard makes a rare appearance coming through the box for Ellison
62.45' Caplin overthrows the top middie and the ball quirts down the field to the Japanese crease attackman, who is denied 1v1 by Big Mac. The ball hits Benny's stick, but has so much backspin that it bounces into the top corner over his shoulder.
** Goal: JAPAN ** ENG 9 - JAP 6
64.30' Japan elect to be more patient with the ball and dodge from X. Much better strategy for them and Muramatsu eventually gets the better of Morgan behind rolling the crease lefty.
** Goal: JAPAN ** ENG 9 - JAP 7
65.10' Time out on the field. England need to stop the Japanese run right here.
65.15' Japan have a whole new look of purpose about them. Amazing what a couple of goals can do.
65.30' Yamanaka v Gallon - Japan go forward and run a quick break. Only a great trail check by Singleton preserves England's cushion.
66.00' Muramatsu again takes on Morgan behind, theatrically lifting his chin to buy a holding call. Japan EMO
67.00' England drop into a interim 6-zone and Japan rip the cross bar.
68.00' More bad luck for the England defense as Japan feed the crease attackman, who bats the ball past McAllister with the top of his shaft.
** Goal: JAPAN ** ENG 9 - JAP 8
68.30' England pick up a much-needed GB on the face.
69.00' A few nerves creeping in on both sides. Lots of passes to ankles right now.
70.10' Miscommunication between Flowers and Green just as Japan slip into their 6-zone and the ball flies away to the sideline
70.10' No surprise that Japan aren't lying down really. Time out on the field
70.30' Japan clear the ball on the restart - another goal here and it's a whole new balgame.
70.45' Japan dodge from up top and shoot into the side netting. Attackman at X picks up the rebound.
71.30' Huge kick save from McAllister and England clear with Tom Gallon
72.15' It will be Bryant, Flowers and Brauch
73.00' Dunwoodie has come on for Reynolds
73.05' Poor finishing continues to afflict England. Beadle and Flowers both miss layups to extend England lead. Japan clear.
74.00' Japan rip another shot off the pipe and England are living a charmed life at the moment.
74.25' Fred Lee horsecollars a cutter as England are stretched to the breaking point. EMO for Japan.
75.25' Great work from the England man-down group. Japan settling for an outside shot, easily absorbed by Big Mac. England clear and call time out.
76.00' Phil Brauch on the restart
76.20' England turn the ball over - looked like LeSueur was fouled there but no flag. Japan clear and call time out.
76.20' While it's certainly entertaining, I could have done without this today
76.45' Gallon and Ellison are the defensive shortsticks. Big Mac with another huge save. The England defense is leaning heavily on their goalie right now
77.30' England clear, but Japan force Beadle out of bounds.
78.00' Linton with some of the best longstick work of the tournament knocks down a pass and then patiently absorbs pressure until he can find the clearing pass.
79.00' England again are immediately forced out at the sideline and Japan will have one minute to clear and find a way to take this to overtime. Time out Japan
79.00' England have the ball on the restart - don't know how that happened.
79.10' Dave Bryant runs the perimeter and then takes a shot England don't need. Fortunately LeSueur backs it up. Japan are doubling
79.30' England step it out of the box breaking a stall with 30 seconds to play
79.40' Japan clear and call time out.
79.40' A huge shout form the England huddle: "WIN!"
80.00' Japan have to isolate against Nathan Singleton - hardly ideal and Gaz Morgan picks up the loose ball and runs out the clock. The England players rush on the field and engorge McAllister.
80.00' FINAL. England 9, Japan 8
80.00' A collective sigh of relief by all of the England players, stall and supporters. The nightmare scenario has been avoided and England can meaningfully game plan for tomorrow.