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Pitchley praises London Raiders team-mates

PUBLISHED: 11:00 29 November 2016

London Raiders forward JJ Pitchley has a word with referee Blaine Evans (pic John Scott)

London Raiders forward JJ Pitchley has a word with referee Blaine Evans (pic John Scott)

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‘Everyone played with heart and passion’ says forward

London Raiders forward Slavomir Buda (left) and JJ Pitchley celebrate a goal (pic John Scott) London Raiders forward Slavomir Buda (left) and JJ Pitchley celebrate a goal (pic John Scott)

London Raiders forward JJ Pitchley praised his team-mates after their National League double-header with Streatham at the weekend.

Raiders lost by the odd goal in seven when the two sides met in Lee Valley on Saturday, after the visitors scored twice late in the first period to take the upper hand.

The 22-year-old Pitchley halved the deficit with his 13th goal of the campaign, but the visitors moved 3-1 up before tempers boiled over late in the middle period.

Streatham’s Steven Fisher was ejected with a match penalty for fighting, as several other players from both sides picked up double minors for roughing.

London Raiders forward JJ Pitchley is treated by the team physio on the bench (pic John Scott) London Raiders forward JJ Pitchley is treated by the team physio on the bench (pic John Scott)

Raiders failed to take their chance on the powerplay, though, and Ryan Webb’s shorthanded goal made it 4-1, before late goals from Jacob Ranson and captain Tom Davis proved in vain.

Raiders dug deep to earn a share of the spoils in south London the following evening, though, despite only having 13 skaters available, with Streatham boasting 18 on their bench.

Michael Gray, restored to the Raiders net in place of Euan King, turned aside 44 shots for his shut out, but the visitors could not find a way past Matt Colclough at the other end, from 30 attempts on target, as the scoreline remained blank.

Pitchley said: “It wasn’t a great start on Saturday, but the third was a little different as we stepped up and started playing more physical.

“Sunday was a great game, I can imagine both to watch and play in.

“It had everything a good game of hockey needs and taking a point in Streatham is a tough thing to do.

“Every single guy played with heart and passion, especially defensively. We are showing the league what we are capable of.”

*Raiders had never before been involved in a 0-0 draw in their history, from a total of 1,416 matches previously played while based in Romford and since their move to Lee Valley.

They had recorded three 1-0 wins in the past, against MK Lightning (October 2007) and Swindon Wildcats (January 2009) in the English Premier League, and Chelmsford Chieftains (February 2012) in an Essex Cup contest, having lost by the same margin to Chelmsford in a National League derby in October 2010.

They now have 671 wins to their credit, with 648 losses and 98 draws, and have scored 7,702 goals and conecded 7,097.

Sunday’s shut out was the 37th in their history, with Michael Gray posting six and sharing another.

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