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Raiders defenceman Cooper says everyone played part in own end in latest win double

PUBLISHED: 17:00 14 February 2019

Raiders defenceman Jack Cooper and netminder Michael Gray look on (Pic: John Scott)

Raiders defenceman Jack Cooper and netminder Michael Gray look on (Pic: John Scott)

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Everyone Active Raiders defenceman Jack Cooper says the entire squad played their part as they romped to a four-point weekend in National League Division One.

Defenceman Jack Cooper drives the puck away from Ryan Webb (Pic: John Scott)Defenceman Jack Cooper drives the puck away from Ryan Webb (Pic: John Scott)

Raiders sealed a 5-1 win at Invicta Dynamos on Saturday before a 7-4 victory against London rivals Streatham IHC the next day.

Sean Easton’s side had to dig deep throughout the weekend as they were light on defence due to missing blue line trio Julian Smith, John Connolly and Callum Wells, as well as utility man Liam Chong.

Winger Brandon Ayliffe played at the back end throughout the weekend to help out on numbers and 22-year-old Cooper said: “We knew it was going to be a tough weekend with three defenceman missing, but at the same time we knew we could still get the job done.

“Everyone helped out defensively which played a big part in both games.”

Raiders closed the gap on fourth-placed Bracknell Bees, who lost at home to Invicta on Sunday, to four points with eight games left in the campaign.

Cooper added: “It’s always good to get a four-point weekend and it closes the gap on the teams above us, so that’s an extra plus.”

The former Romford junior feels everyone played their part in Gillingham as they completed the series sweep over Kevin Parrish’s side on Saturday.

And Cooper believes it was extra pleasing that youngsters Tommy Huggett and Brandon Webster both netted their first goals for the senior Raiders side in that match.

“Invicta was a good game for us, we all played well and it was good to get some of the young guys out there for regular shifts,” he said.

“It was also good to see Tommy get his first senior goal for us and also Brandon to get his first goal for the Raiders, hopefully there is more to come from both of them.”

The defenceman says switching off after ramping up a 6-0 lead over Streatham almost cost his side again this season as it has on numerous occassions, adding: “Streatham was a good game of hockey. It was end-to-end in the first with little between us both. The second period we dominated and went into the third with a massive lead.

“I think we all just switched off which has cost us in the past and almost did on Sunday, but we got the points and that’s what matters most.”

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