MARLOW’s Barry Middleton says the Hockey World Cup was an amazing tournament for England even though they left The Hague with nothing to show for their efforts.

They lost 2-0 to Argentina in the third and fourth place play-off after a 1-0 defeat to The Netherlands in their semi-final.

However, their play-off game with Argentina was mired in controversy after the South Americans played with an extra man for more than two minutes.

England lodged a complaint afterwards, but the result was allowed to stand.

Ater the defeat, which extended England’s wait for a World Cup medal to 28 years, captain Middleton said: “We made a couple of mistakes and they scored a couple of good goals.

“It’s demoralising to lose the game in a couple of bad minutes where the game's been so tight – we played how we wanted to and just didn't do enough in the end.

“It’s hard to take right now, but it's been an amazing tournament.”

Earlier in the tournament, High Wycombe’s Ashley Jackson scored twice during the group games while former John Hampden pupil Nick Catlin, remarkably, managed to find time in the middle of the World Cup to take a three-hour legal exam.

Just hours before a vital group match against Australia last week the 25-year-old was in Rotterdam trying to qualify as a solicitor.

He said: “I am never going to make enough money from hockey to be able to do anything afterwards so you have to put these things in place.”

Beaconsfield’s George Pinner also played for England.