Blyth backs rallying Raiders
PUBLISHED: 14:00 14 January 2015
Coach happy with weekend’s efforts
London Raiders coach Alan Blyth looked for the positives from his side’s weekend efforts in the National League.
Raiders earned a point from a 3-3 draw at Bracknell on Saturday to move into the top eight play-off places, having held a three-goal lead with less than 10 minutes to play.
But they came away empty-handed from their trip to Oxfortd the next night after an 8-6 defeat, which saw the Stars leapfrog them in the table.
Blyth said: “Last weekend was a good test for us and I’m pleased with the way the guys played in both games.
“We played some very good hockey in both games and I feel we dominated both the games. We played with a good mixture of finesse and grit and determination.
“Saturday was good test against a very talented and fast Bracknell team. We stuck to the game plan and executed it to perfection for the first two periods.
“In the third we started well also, but lost our way slightly for a couple of minutes and conceded a couple of quick goals. We regrouped and could have taken the lead again, however the game ended in a well-earned point.”
First-period goals from Grant Taylor and Jacob Ranson were added to by Liam Chong in the third session, but Hornets hit back with three goals in under three minutes, thanks to a Dan Rose double, either side of a Daniel Hughes strike.
Raiders were always chasing the game in Oxford after conceding two early goals, with Taylor netting twice more, alongside efforts from captain Tom Davis, Chong, Vaclav Drabek and new recruit Alan Lack.
Alan Green’s hat-trick steered Stars to the points, though, before some late fisticuffs but Blyth is confident his side can get their revenge when they return to the university city for another key clash on January 25.
He added: “Sunday in Oxford felt like a good old fashioned hockey game. It had everything that a fan likes in a game.
“We were in control for the whole game however we gifted them a majority of their goals due to individual errors and players trying to do too much to get the result.
“What was good to see was the way the guys stuck up for one another after a horrendous challenge on Liam. With us returning to Oxford in a couple of weeks I am sure the guys will not make the same mistakes twice and will get the job done this time round.”
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