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Coach Pitchley promising an ‘interesting game of hockey’ against cup kings Streatham

PUBLISHED: 14:00 21 February 2020

Raiders coach Ben Pitchley looks on during the match against Solent (pic Nikki Day)

Raiders coach Ben Pitchley looks on during the match against Solent (pic Nikki Day)

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Romford Junior Raiders head coach Ben Pitchley is looking forward to an ‘interesting’ game against National League Division One South leaders Streatham at the Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre on Saturday (5.15pm).

Raiders import Vilius Krakauskas on the puck against Solent (pic Nikki Day)Raiders import Vilius Krakauskas on the puck against Solent (pic Nikki Day)

Raiders gave second-placed Solent a run for their money last Sunday before falling to a 5-3 defeat, having lost 8-3 to the Devils in Gosport the night before.

And Pitchley is hoping his side, having lost 5-1 and 9-3 in their two earlier meetings with Streatham this season, can give another good account of themselves this weekend.

"Saturday we welcome newly crowned cup champions Streatham back to the Sapphire and we've had a couple of really good games against them already this season," said Pitchley.

"If we stick to the script, keep the intensity up and play within our system for the full 60 minutes, this will be an interesting game of hockey."

Raiders import Jan Marcilis on the puck against Solent (pic Nikki Day)Raiders import Jan Marcilis on the puck against Solent (pic Nikki Day)

Raiders travelled to the south coast with a short bench last Saturday and were 4-0 down at the first break.

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The hosts netted three more times before Sam Roberts replied for Raiders, but Ralfs Circenis made it 8-1 with his fourth goal of the night in the final period.

Tommy Huggett claimed two late power play goals as some consolation for Raiders and Pitchley added: "It took us a long time to adjust to the size of their rink, they play a good game of hockey there.

Raiders forward Tommy Huggett in action against Solent (pic Nikki Day)Raiders forward Tommy Huggett in action against Solent (pic Nikki Day)

"It threw our young team off with the lack of space we have to play in, plus we were pretty short staffed, but Sunday at ours was a completely different game and we also had Vilius (Krakauskas) back after his ban."

The Lithuanian put Raiders ahead after just 53 seconds and Samuel Austin restored their lead after Circenis had levelled on a power play.

Ewan Hill made it 3-3, after Alex Murray and Steve Osman had put Solent on top, but Richard Facey edged the visitors back in front.

Facey added the only goal of the final period to seal the points for Solent and Pitchley said: "We came flying out of the blocks and took the game to them right off the bat. A full line-up for us gave me more options to roll with and we played pretty good hockey.

"However, Solent hung on in, took a lead into the third period and scored then shut up shop. We just couldn't find the back of the net and ended up on the wrong end of a 5-3 loss."


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