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Oliver low after Raiders loss

18:45 14 September 2014

Raiders assistant captain David Oliver (pic: John Scott)

Raiders assistant captain David Oliver (pic: John Scott)

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‘Defeat hard to take’ says defenceman

London Raiders assistant captain David Oliver revealed his disappointment after his side’s late defeat against Bracknell at Lee Valley.

Raiders slipped to a 6-5 loss, after Danny Hughes netted Bracknell’s winner with less than two minutes remaining.

And coming on the back of their morale-boosting opening-day win over Cardiff a week earlier, Oliver agreed there was lessons to be learnt from the National League reverse.

He said: “Last night’s game was hard to take. Both teams didn’t play great hockey.

“We had great five-minute spells here and there and then we switched off, which we can’t do.

“Coming off the ice it was hard to take in, but looking back we got outshot 44 to 27 and that can’t happen on home ice.”

Raiders fell behind with barely 30 seconds played, but levelled through Jakub Klima, before Danny Marshall and Vaclav Drabek put them 3-1 up early in the second period.

Hornets hit back, only for captain AJ Smith to give Raiders a 4-2 advantage.

But a powerplay goal from former Raiders forward JJ Pitchley cut the gap to one before the break and the visitors went 5-4 up before Drabek’s second looked to have earned the hosts a point.

Hughes had the final say, though, and Oliver added: “Bracknell have fast young forwards who can punish any team, we need to get that loss out of our heads and work on what went wrong in training on Thursday.

“Getting outshot like that is not right and we will be working hard so that doesn’t happen again.

“Bracknell didn’t score great goals at all which is more frustrating, it’s things that we can work on in training to make sure it doesn’t happen next time round.”

Raiders hit the road for the first time next weekend when they travel to the south coast to face Solent & Gosport on their tiny rink.

Defenceman Oliver is hoping they bounce back quickly, adding: “It’s a long old season. We’re still missing Frankie Harvey and Michael Gray, but with a few more training sessions our play and fitness will pick up.

“As time goes on we will be back to our best and playing the hockey we were playing last season.”

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