Free weekend for Raiders after mixed fortunes

PUBLISHED: 09:00 24 January 2020

Romford Junior Raiders celebrate a goal against MK Thunder (pic Nikki Day)

Romford Junior Raiders celebrate a goal against MK Thunder (pic Nikki Day)


Romford Junior Raiders head into a short break from National League Division One South action after a mixed weekend.

They eased to a 12-1 win over bottom club MK Thunder at the Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre on Saturday, but fell to an 8-1 loss at Essex rivals Chelmsford the following night.

And head coach Ben Pitchley admitted they were two different matches, saying: "We just did a professional job against MK, not allowing them any real time with the puck.

"We worked on our fore check, as we needed that to be working right for the Chelmsford game the next day, and tried to stay away from any sort of issues."

Jan Marcilis helped himself to a hat-trick, as Tommy Huggett and Ewan Hill bagged braces, while George Gell added a goal and four assists.

Joe Allen, captain Sam Roberts, Matt Brown and Vilius Krakauskas also found the net in the rout, before a late incident involving the Lithuanian import proved costly.

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Pitchley added: "Unfortunately, with 12 seconds to go in the game, one of their players decided to take a whack at Vilius, and some punches were thrown at each other.

"You've got to wonder what the referee saw, though, as they get two minutes for cross-checking and we get a match for fighting, even though both players had their gloves off."

That ruled Krakauskas out of the Chelmsford clash, but Raiders restricted the hosts to two goals in the opening period.

Chieftains added five more in the middle session, though, and Pitchley said: "Import down, with a game plan that when we execute it well, does work, we took the game to them.

"Two-nil down at the end of the first, and then, bang, the wheels fall off in dramatic style, just like in Streatham and we are now 7-1 down.

"After some tough words in the dressing room we came out and played exactly like we should have from the start, but switch off for one shift near the end of the game and they score on it.

"Chelmsford are a good side, with more depth than probably anyone else in our league, but we can play against them, as we have done previously."

Raiders will look to set the record straight when they return to action and host Chelmsford on February 1 (5.15pm).

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