Ice hockey: Mixed emotions for Raiders coach Pitchley
PUBLISHED: 12:00 07 January 2020 | UPDATED: 13:02 07 January 2020
Romford Junior Raiders head coach Ben Pitchley was pleased to see his side open the new year with a convincing 12-2 win over Cardiff Fire in National League Division One South.
But he was then left disappointed by the way they capitulated at Streatham the following night, with their five-game winning streak coming to an end after a 9-3 defeat in South London.
Ewan Hill netted four times against Cardiff, having been called into the Great Britain under-18 squad during the week, with captain Sam Roberts and Alan Lack bagging braces.
And George Gell, Jan Marcilis, Vilius Krakauskas and Ross Cowan also found the net as Pitchley said: "Cardiff didn't travel with a big squad and we only had one training session over the Christmas period and it showed in the first period.
"We got better in the second, and then we ran the third period down. It was a good game to have before we played Streatham on Sunday."
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Krakauskas and Cowan were on target again as Raiders twice came from behind to find themselves on level terms with Streatham at 2-2 late in the second period.
But the hosts edged in front before the buzzer and beat Jacob Stoodley six more times in the final period, before Marcilis got a late consolation in the final seconds of the match.
And Pitchley added: "Streatham aren't at the top of the league by a fluke and are stacked throughout their line-up.
"Adam Carr has put a strong line-up together and they play an in-your-face type of game, a bit like the old Romford teams used to.
"However, we had a game plan and without two centres playing (Ewan Hill played under-18s and Sam Roberts was working) it was going fine until the last period.
"But then the wheels fell off in dramatic style. We let Jake (Stoodley) down badly in the third, basically because we didn't stick to the job in hand.
"After two periods of great hockey, we got bombed out 6-1 in the final 20 minutes. Our unbeaten run had to come to an end at some stage, but we need to learn to play to our strengths more often and stick to our systems all game."