Raiders buzzing for Hornets test
PUBLISHED: 17:00 13 February 2015
Coach Blyth wants to build on latest win
London Raiders coach Alan Blyth wants his side can to build on their success at Streatham when they welcome Bracknell to Lee Valley tomorrow (Saturday, 5.30pm).
A man of the match display from goalie Chris Douglas helped Raiders to a 4-2 success over the Redskins last weekend, as Bailey Wootton, Jacob Ranson, Ricky Deacon and Liam Chong all found the net at the other end of the rink.
Victory kept Raiders in the driving seat for the final play-off place, but Blyth knows his players will be tested again by the Hornets.
He said: “Bracknell will be a different test to the one we faced last weekend. They come with a great deal of speed, ability and youth.
“They have a large number of scoring threats throughout the team that we will have to be on the top of our game.
“We had a good game last time out at Bracknell and will be looking to go one better at home this weekend.”
Raiders had to settle for a draw in their previous meeting with the Berkshire club, after letting a three-goal lead slip in the final period.
But Blyth paid tribute to his opponents, adding: “I like the set-up of the Bracknell team and the management and coaching staff have done well over there in the past couple of years.
“They have a few ex-Raiders in the line-up, but as much as it’s good to see these faces, once the puck drop then it’s back to business.”
Blyth, a goalie during his own playing caareer, hailed the performance of Douglas on his return to the gold and blue jersey.
The former Romford junior – son of the original Raiders captain Erskine – made 44 saves on the occasion of his second senior debut, some 15 years after his first Raiders appearance.
And Blyth is backing the 35-year-old to be a positive influence over the course of the last seven regular season fixtures – and hopefully the post-season campaign also.
He added: “Chris made a big impact on his return to the gold and blue. He was solid and positively youthful!
“He is in a good physical shape and knows how we are looking to play. He has settled right in made an impact in the dressing room.
“Chris uses his experience to its full when he is playing and is vocal on the ice. He likes to talk to his defence and that puts them at ease also. It’s good to have him back.”
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