Everyone Active Raiders defenceman Tom Relf felt there were positives to take from defeats against National League leaders Leeds Knights last weekend.

Relf returned to the line-up after missing the previous two weekends with injury, as Raiders slipped to 6-4 loss at Romford's Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre on Saturday.

But Sean Easton's men were made to pay for a poor first period in the return, as Knights netted four times on their way to a 7-2 victory.

Raiders welcome Swindon Wildcats on Sunday (5.15pm) and Relf said: "Although we didn’t collect any points, we can take some positives away in that we challenged the team at the top of the table throughout the weekend.

"I’m confident in this team, we can get the train rolling again soon and move up the table. 

"Personally it’s nice to be back. I never like watching, I want to contribute to the game and dictate the play from the back. 

"Hopefully in the coming weeks my foot with get back to 100 per cent and I’ll be at full steam."

Kieran Brown's powerplay goal opened the scoring in Romford, with Mac Howlett doubling the visitors lead in the 10th minute.

Starting goalie Brad Windebank was replaced by Ethan James at the break due to injury and Jake Sylvester halved the deficit with the only goal of the middle session - his 150th goal for the club.

New Canadian import Riley MacRae then levelled matters with a penalty shot at the start of the final period, only for Leeds to regain the lead with a shorthanded goal from Josh Adkins soon after.

MacRae converted on the same Raiders powerplay to make it 3-3, but the home side's joy was shortlived as Matt Haywood put Leeds back in front just 21 seconds later.

A roughing penalty against Haywood gave MacRae the chance to complete his hat-trick on another powerplay with less than six minutes remaining, raising Raiders hopes.

But Haywood made amends by putting Leeds 5-4 up and assisting Brown's empty net goal with only 18 seconds left, after James had been withdrawn for an extra skater.

Raiders travelled without import Nick Leyer on Sunday and saw Howlett, Jordan Buesa, Brown and Adkins beat James in the opening period.

Callum Wells replied before the halfway point, only for Adkins, Brown and James Archer goals to make it 7-1 before Tjay Anderson's consolation.

"Saturday was a good performance, but disappointing to come away empty-handed," added Relf. 

"I think we were the better team for 40 minutes, but a team like Leeds are good enough to win with very few chances. 

"Away in Leeds is always a different story. It’s a loud rink and they come out fast. It can get away from you quickly there, and that’s what happened on Sunday. 

"We had spells again where we were the better team, but if you’re not on top of your game from the beginning in Leeds, it’s very difficult to come away with points."