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Home loss for lacklustre London Raiders

10:38 14 February 2016

London Raiders defenceman John Connolly (pic: John Scott)

London Raiders defenceman John Connolly (pic: John Scott)

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National League: London Raiders 1 Solent 4

London Raiders put on a dismal performance in front of their home fans to lose to Solent last night.

And the defeat drops the Raiders to eighth place in the National League, one point behind Solent, and leaves them still searching for a win after 12 matches.

All five goals came in the second period, and Solent scored all of their goals on end-to-end rushes, beating a slow Raiders defence.

The match took a serious turn in the early stages as Solent’s Monty Gailer went down into the boards and had to be helped off the ice and taken to hospital with a bloodied face and concussion.

Neither team could find the back of the net in a quiet first period, although each side picked up two penalties.

But the Raiders were lacklustre with the man advantage and their best chance of the period came from Rio Grinell-Parke as his rifled shot clanged off the post.

The deadlock was broken in the second period as Mitchell Murray scored for Solent in the 25th minute, assisted by George Norcliffe.

Raiders went on the powerplay again shortly afterwards and Marek Nahlik nearly found an equaliser, but his deflection of a Robbie Veares one-timer went right into the chest of Solent netminder Christian Cole.

Solent then rushed down the ice and shocked the Raiders with a short-handed goal, courtesy of Ralfs Circenis.

The hosts were handed another powerplay halfway through the session after Solent’s Richard Brown was bizarrely given a two-minute minor penalty for a face-off violation.

But just seconds later the man advantage was negated as Michal Oravec knocked his stick against Cole’s mask and was penalised for high sticking.

Just after returning to full strength, Solent took advantage of their brief powerplay and Alex Murray scored their third goal.

Richard Facey then found the back of the net for Solent in the 35th minute and the Raiders were rapidly heading towards yet another defeat.

With just three minutes remaining in the period, the Raiders finally broke through as captain Tom Davis skated in and fired off a hard shot at Cole. The deflection fell right in front of the net and Nahlik was there to bury it.

But that was as close as the home team would come as they fell to their 17th loss of the season.

Raiders are without a game today and return to action with a trip to the Isle of Wight to face their namesakes on February 20.

Scorers, Raiders: Marek Nahlik* 1 Tom Davis 0+1 Mason Webster 0+1.

Devils: Mitchell Murray 1+2 Richard Facey 1+1 Ralfs Circenis* 1 Alex Murray 1 Andrew Magee* 0+1 George Norcliffe 0+1.

Penalty minutes: Raiders 10 Solent 16.

Shots on goal: Michael Gray (L) 36 Christian Cole (S) 34.

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