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Pitchley: Raiders will pose challenge

PUBLISHED: 08:00 10 January 2015

Bracknell's JJ Pitchley battles it out with Raiders defenceman David Oliver during their earlier meeting this season at Lee Valley (pic: John Scott)

Bracknell's JJ Pitchley battles it out with Raiders defenceman David Oliver during their earlier meeting this season at Lee Valley (pic: John Scott)

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Bracknell forward expects test against former club

JJ Pitchley tussles with Chelmsford's Grant Bartlett during his spell with the London Raiders at the start of the 2013/14 season (pic: John Scott)JJ Pitchley tussles with Chelmsford's Grant Bartlett during his spell with the London Raiders at the start of the 2013/14 season (pic: John Scott)

Former London Raiders forward JJ Pitchley expects a difficult night when his old club visit Bracknell in the National League tonight.

Pitchley has helped Hornets win both previous meetings between the sides this season, scoring a goal and two assists in their late 6-5 success at Lee Valley on September 13.

And the 20-year-old added another goal and assist in an 8-1 victory in Berkshire on November 9, just days after Raiders had seen Danny Marshall, import Jakub Klima, captain AJ Smith and Perry Richardson leave the club.

Understrength Raiders went on to lose 19 games in a row before ending the sequence with a 4-2 win over MK Thunder in their last outing of 2014.

Ben Pitchley in action for Romford Raiders against Slough in 2006/07 (pic: John Scott)Ben Pitchley in action for Romford Raiders against Slough in 2006/07 (pic: John Scott)

But they lost a quick return meeting with Thunder, 3-2, last Saturday and went down 9-0 at Invicta the following night.

Nonetheless, Pitchley said: “I believe it will be a greater challenge than the previous time we played.

“They’ve got some good solid guys, like Grant Taylor and Liam Chong, and the addition to Alan Lack is only going to add more to them.

“I played with Lacky last year in Slough and as juniors at Bracknell and he’s a great all-round player – very, very physical and willing to drop the gloves when he needs to!

“He’s a guy I’d love to play with again and hopefully he finds a home with the Raiders and for when the new rink goes up.”

Former St Edwards pupil Pitchley came up through the junior ranks at Romford before making his Raiders debut in the 2011/12 season.

He went on to spend a season in the United States with the Dallas Snipers, then had another spell with Raiders at the start of last season after the closure of the old Rom Valley Way rink and their move to Lee Valley.

In 63 appearances he scored 27 points (13 goals, 14 assists), which leaves him some way short of dad Ben, the long-serving Raiders defenceman who tallied 219 points (59 goals, 160 assists) in 582 matches for the club.

Still, the younger Pitchley is currently ranked fifth in the division with 37 points (18+19) in 21 matches for the fourth-placed Hornets and he has also scored a goal and three assists in four outings with the English Premier League Bracknell Bees.

He added: “It’s been a pretty good start to the season for myself points-wise and, of course, for the Hornets.

“We’re hearing positive things, which can only be a good thing, and also getting to step back up to the EPL with the Bees over the festive break was good for me.”


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