London Raiders draw blank at Dynamos

09:10 22 February 2016

London Raiders players look downcast (pic: John Scott)

London Raiders players look downcast (pic: John Scott)


South East Cup: Invicta 7 London Raiders 0

London Raiders suffered more despair at the hands of the Dynamos in their South East Cup clash in Kent last night.

The two sides had only pride to play for, with Chelmsford assured of the silverware, and Invicta claimed the bragging rights for the seventh time in eight meetings between them this season.

Raiders were blanked for the second time by Damien King as their own keeper Ryan Bainborough was forced out of the game after 40 minutes due to injury, with the score standing at 3-0.

And without Michael Gray in their line-up Raiders were forced to call upon captain Tom Davis as an emergency stand-in between the pipes for the final stanza.

Davis held out for nine minutes, but was then beaten four times in a five-and-a-half minute spell as the hosts skated off convincing winners.

Dynamos had enjoyed the first sight of goal on the night, but Bainborough’s pad save denied Eriks Ozollapa before Michal Oravec’s backhand shot was kept out by King at the other end of the rink.

And the first goal came with just over five minutes gone when Bailey Wootton fired the puck goalwards from the wing and Jack Lee prodded it inside the near post.

Raiders could not capitalise on an interference penalty against Nicky Lewis and saw Callum Fowler denied by the shoulder of Bainborough.

King thwarted Oravec with a glove save in close, before Lee was binned for boarding and Oravec almost found the top corner on the powerplay but was again frustrated by King.

Oravec was then called for holding, but Invicta could not make their extra man count as Lewis attacked on the left and fired over.

However, Raiders then saw Marek Nahlik binned for interference and Mason Webster joined him in the penalty box on a boarding call soon after, giving the home side 1.41 of 5-on-3, which did lead to a second goal as Fowler and Arran Strawson swapped quick passes and Latvian Ozollapa converted with an easy finish.

Raiders survived the remaining shorthanded spell after the restart and were then given a powerplay as Jacob Ranson was called for hooking.

But John Connolly followed on a tripping call just 25 seconds later to leave both sides down to four skaters.

And Dynamos went close to a third goal as Fowler teed up Adam McNicoll on a counter-attack and his effort hit the pads of Bainborough.

Raiders went back on the powerplay after Josh Condren was penalised for tripping in the 27th minute, but instead Fowler broke clear only to lose control of the puck at the vital moment and Bainborough then spilled a shot from Steve Osman, but recovered quickly to deny Conor Redmond’s follow-up attempt with his pads.

Nahlik then fell foul of the officials to earn another slashing penalty and give Invicta a powerplay, but Bainborough held firm to keep out Lewis, Osman and Redmond in a scramble and keep it at 2-0.

Raiders had a let-off soon after, as Ranson’s drop pass fed Ozollapa and his shot came back off the foot of a post.

But the respite was brief as the home side netted their third goal of the night with 46 seconds left in the period when Ondrej Zosiak’s blue line drive was deflected past the helpless Bainborough by Redmond.

Bainborough was unable to continue in the final period and Davis donned the pads as an emergency keeper.

It was a case of history repetaing itself as Gray had limped out of a game in Gillingham last season, with Ross Wilkinson taking over between the pipes, and Davis was soon called upon to make a pad save from Bailey Wootton.

Meanwhile, Oravec tested King with a hard-struck shot from the slot as Raiders tried to break the Invicta man’s shutout, before Davis produced a stunning glove save to keep out Osman’s wristshot.

Condren rang the pipework moments later, but Invicta netted their fourth when Fowler swapped passes with Ozollapa on a quick counter-attack and beat Davis at his far post.

Webster and Condren squared up briefly, with ill-feeling still simmering from a previous encounter, and the Invicta player was called for a diving penalty soon after in an incident that also saw Nahlik binned for slashing.

Invicta went 5-0 up at 51.19 when Fowler teed up Strawson at the blue line and he fired into the top corner and the hosts replaced King with veteran Glen Rodbourne for the final seven minutes of action.

Davis was beaten for a third time soon after as McNicoll was given too much space to fire home a low shot and Ranson made it 7-0 just 40 seconds later, tucking a rebound home on the turn after Elliot Dewey’s shot came back off the pads of Davis.

Mark Robinson was binned late on as Raiders tired, but Davis held on to Jarvis Mewitt’s speculative effort from the left wing.

Meanwhile, Rodbourne got enough behind a shot from Rio Grinell-Parke as the visitors searched in vain for a late consolation.

After seeing their winless streak extend to 14 matches, there was a small piece of positive news for Raiders as injured forward Liam Chong tweeted: “Appointment with the consultant this week to see when I’ll be back. Hopefully not long before I can get back and help out the boys #COYR.”

Chong has missed the last 11 matches with a broken thumb and Raiders are set to welcome MK Thunder to Lee Valley next Saturday (5.30pm).

Scorers, Invicta: Callum Fowler 1+2 Arran Strawson 1+2 Eriks Ozollapa* 1+1 Conor Redmond 1 Jack Lee 1 Adam McNicoll 1 Jacob Ranson 1 Damian Welch 0+2 Bailey Wootton 0+2 Steve Osman 0+1 Ondrej Zosiak* 0+1 Brad Gutridge 0+1 Elliot Dewey 0+1.

Penalty minutes: Invicta 8 Raiders 14.

Shots on goal: Damien King (I, 53.08) 8-8-7=23-0 Glen Rodbourne (I, 6.52) 6-0 Ryan Bainborough (L, 40:00) 10-16=26-3 Tom Davis (L, 20:00) 15-4.

Referee: Tom Stephenson.


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