July 24 2014 Latest news:
Sunday, March 16, 2014
Two-goal hero reflects on latest success
AJ Smith was quick to pay tribute to his Raiders teammates after netting twice in their National League win over Bracknell at the weekend.
Smith helped Danny Marshall’s men to a 5-2 victory at Lee Valley as they strengthened their claim for a top-four spot with the regular season drawing to a close.
And he said: “It was another great team performance. With JJ (McGrath) serving a ban and Frank (Harvey) away with his work, we only had nine guys and Bracknell are a good side that always push us to our limits.
“But once again our short bench came together and went all out for 60 minutes to secure another two points.
“It was good to get a couple of goals too. It should have been a hat-trick but I missed a great chance in the third period.”
Smith moved up to the top line in the absence of Harvey and admitted he enjoyed playing alongside Czech import Jakub Klima.
And as well as revealing how highly he rates Klima, Smith highlighted the work of defenceman David Oliver against the Hornets.
He added: “Playing with Klima was a lot of fun. He’s a great player and in my opinion the top import in the league hands down.
“But the star of the show for me was Dave Oliver. With Billy (Phillips) playing up front we ran with only three defencemen all game and they were all brilliant, but Dave was outstanding.
“I lost count of the amount of shots he threw his body in front of for the team and he fully deserved his man of the match. I bet he is sore now though!”
Raiders have four games left in the league campaign, starting with a rearranged home match against Streatham on Saturday, before champions elect Chelmsford come to Lee Valley the following night.
And after a trip to Solent on March 29, Raiders end their schedule with another home match against Bracknell the next night, before the play-offs get underway on the first weekend in April.
Smith said: “We are really playing well at the moment and we aim to take that form into the play-offs with us.”