London Raiders forward Ayliffe expects a victory against Cardiff Fire
PUBLISHED: 11:00 13 October 2017
London Raiders forward Brandon Ayliffe expects his side to pick up a victory against National League strugglers Cardiff Fire.
The Lee Valley-based club host bottom of the table Cardiff at Lee Valley Ice Rink tomorrow (Saturday, 5.30pm) and will be hoping to bounce back after two defeats last weekend.
They go into the match on the back of losses at Basingstoke Bison (7-1) and at home to Swindon Wildcats (7-2) and the 19-year-old Ayliffe said: “As a team we’re expecting to get points against Cardiff, but Cardiff are a team known for playing hard and keeping the momentum going, so it will be tough game.
“But we want and need to get the points. Having a one-game weekend will be beneficial while ‘Kinger’ is resting but we will treat it like it’s any other full weekend of hockey.”
Young Zach Grandy-Smith, 18, could get the nod in goal once again after playing against Swindon with Euan King expected to be out for several weeks with an MCL injury.
“Zach’s first game was a really good effort from him,” added Ayliffe.
“He has been training hard and showing us he can play more than one role.”
The former Romford junior also admitted last weekend was a learning curve for the gold and blue outfit.
“I think it was a good weekend overall as the team played hard and with passion which showed against both Basingstoke and Swindon,” he said.
“It was a learning curve, but the team showed we are in this league to compete and showed we can play the same standard of hockey.
“Basingstoke are a good side but we didn’t give up. Losing ‘Kinger’ was an upset but we didn’t let that stop us playing our game.
“When Tommy (Tom Davis) stepped in the goal nothing changed in our game and we managed to keep the team motivated to keep pushing until the final buzzer.”
The following night Ayliffe and his team-mates fell to another defeat and he admits they must learn from it instead of dwelling on the results against the league new boys.
“The Swindon game again wasn’t an upset because it was another learning curve and it was good to see the difference between the old EPL and ENL teams,” he said.
“We played hard and showed that we’re a tough and skillful team.”