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Raiders make Wight work for win

10:38 12 January 2014

Raiders defenceman David Oliver welcomes Michael Gray back into the starting line-up

Raiders defenceman David Oliver welcomes Michael Gray back into the starting line-up

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National League: Isle of Wight 9 Raiders 6

Raiders made table-topping Isle of Wight work for the National League Division One points at Ryde Ice Arena last night.

Danny Marshall’s squad, weakened by the release of five players last weekend, travelled without defencemen Tyrone Miller and Billy Phillips, but welcomed Michael Gray back between the pipes.

The returnee came under fire in the early stages, though, and was beaten three times inside nine minutes as Jeremy Cornish, Corey Watkins and Alex Barker all found the net.

Grant Taylor wore the captain’s ‘C’ following Jason Buckman’s exit, while the former skipper was snapped up by home-town Peterborough and celebrated an EPL win at Guildford.

And Jakub Klima and Marshall replied with two goals in less than two minutes for Raiders, only for Steven Osman to makei it 4-2 soon after.

Cornish struck again just before the interval to complete a seven-goal opening period, but Marshall’s double cut the gap to one once more after the restart and saw him complete his hat-trick.

Matthew Vizzari and Barker responded to put Wight 7-4 up after 40 minutes, but Frankie Harvey struck 48 seconds after the restart and AJ Smith added his name to the scoresheet at 41:51 to raise Raiders hopes once again.

Their joy was shortlived, though, as Yousif Abu Saada netted Wight’s eighth goal of the night just six seconds later and Cornish completed the scoring in the final minute before skating off with his side’s man of the match beers.

David Oliver took the plaudits for the visitors, as they suffered a fifth successive defeat and third against their namesakes in less than a month.

And he paid tribute to his teammate’s efforts on social media site Twitter, saying: “Great team effort night from the team, 10 players - 4 DMan - 2 forwards playing D!

“Thanks to all the fans coming.”

AJ Smith added: “Great effort from the lads last night, unlucky not to get something out of it!”

Marshall’s men return to Lee Valley to host basement boys MK Thunder next Saturday, before visiting Bracknell Hornets the following evening.

Scorers, Wight: Cornish* 3 Barker 2 Osman 1+1 Abu Saada 1 Watkins 1 Vizzari* 1 Facey 0+3 Larter 0+1 N Taylor 0+1 Tribe 0+1 Pye 0+1 Lock 0+1.

Raiders: Marshall 3+1 Klima* 1+4 Harvey 1+2 Smith 1 Taylor 0+1 McGrath 0+1 Peters 0+1 Oliver 0+1.

Shots on goal: Weller (Wight) 41Gray (Raiders) 57.

Penalty minutes: Wight 24 Raiders 8.

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