London Raiders shut out by Streatham again
PUBLISHED: 20:27 11 March 2017 | UPDATED: 20:27 11 March 2017
London Raiders 0 Streatham 3
London Raiders were shut out by Streatham for the third time this season as their final match of the National League regular season ended in defeat in Lee Valley.
Raiders had lost 2-0 and draw 0-0 against Streatham in south London earlier in the season, but won 5-3 when the sides met three weeks earlier.
They had lost both legs of their cup semi-final with league champions Chelmsford and also tasted defeat against Solent since that success and were without JJ Pitchley and Matt France, as Joe Allen went close for the visitors early on, trying to force the puck under Euan King but being denied.
A hooking call against Stewart Tait gave the visitors a powerplay, with King diverting Chris Cooke’s shot from the blue line into a corner, before Thomas Beesley beat his man at the other end and fed a pass to Slavomir Buda, who could not convert.
A roughing call against John Connolly put Raiders back on the penalty kill, but captain Tom Davis found space to test Matt Colclough with a blast from just outside the blue line, before King thwarted Alex Sampford twice in quick succession.
Colclough saved well from Andy Munroe, when he deflected a shot from Sam Roberts goalwards, but Raiders fell behind with just 15 seconds left in the first period as Sean Scarborough teed up Allen to beat King.
After a delayed start to the middle period, Streatham’s Callum Best went close to doubling his side’s lead in the opening seconds, but poked a loose puck just wide of a post.
But play was then held up again while surface water was swept away by officials, before former Raiders forward Jacob Ranson was called for charging to give the home side a powerplay chance.
The hosts could not make it count and fell further behind when Sampford’s great pass set up Ryan Webb to score from a tight angle, before Lack was called for holding.
Best followed soon after on a cross-checking minor, before Julian Smith was called for high sticks, and Streatham’s Joe Johnston fired a shot off the crossbar during the 4-on-3.
A bench minor penalty against Raiders for having too many men on the ice gave Streatham another powerplay chance with just over four minutes left in the period, before Davis and Ranson dropped the gloves to trade blows.
But the scoreline remained unchanged, as Raiders failed to capitalise on a delay of game minor against Johnston, for firing the puck over the plexi glass in his own zone, after Brandon Miles was crowded out by the visiting defence.
Munroe was then binned for boarding after a hit on Sampford and Adam Wood fired home within seconds of the powerplay to put Streatham 3-0 up to leave Raiders with a mountain to climb.
Lack could not beat Colclough in close, then found himself heading to the penalty box on a delay of game call when his clearance around the boards hopped over the glass.
And Smith’s night ended early when he was give a 2+10 penalty for checking from behind with less than nine minutes left on the clock, handing Streatham a lengthy two-man advantage.
Munroe followed on a slashing minor, but Sampford was also banished as the referee’s whistle dominated and Cooke fired a big shot narrowly wide.
Liam Rasmussen was then ejected with a match penalty for high sticks, after Lack was caught and suffered a cut, and Raiders were on the powerplay for all but the last 36 seconds of the match.
But they could not find a way past Colclough as Streatham moved up to second place in the table and Raiders end their season with a trip to Oxford on Sunday, needing a win to climb above the Stars to finish in fourth place.
However, a fifth successive defeat for Raiders and a win for Solent at Invicta could see them drop to sixth in the final standings, ahead of the play-offs later this month.