Raiders end Autumn Cup campaign with back-to-back defeats

Raiders captain Aaron Connolly goes for goal

Raiders captain Aaron Connolly goes for goal - Credit: John Scott

Everyone Active Raiders suffered back-to-back defeats to finish off the Autumn Cup campaign.

Head coach Sean Easton and his side sealed two wins, an overtime defeat and suffered five defeats in the eight cup clashes.

They did however endure an injury crisis and continue to play short benched with players still sidelined.

It was a 7-4 defeat away to Swindon Wildcats on Saturday evening despite a strong start.

Slovakian forward Erik Piatak opened the scoring after just 18 seconds with assists going to Tommy Huggett and Aaron Connolly.

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It was short lived as Floyd Taylor levelled the score just over one minute later.

Emil Svec then gave the hosts the lead in the fourth minute of play as he linked well with line-mates Chris Jones and Edgar Bebris.

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Raiders forward Jacob Ranson fired last Renny Marr to make it 2-2 early in the second period.

Not even 20 seconds later Swindon restored their lead as Balint Pakozdi found the net.

Pakozdi then struck a second of the game on the powerplay to make it 4-2 mid-way through the second period.

Svec then grabbed his second just before the end of the period to give the hosts a 5-2 lead heading into the final period.

Raiders came out fighting as Brandon Ayliffe rushed the puck forward with JJ Pitchley finishing off on the rush to reduce the deficit.

Svec completed his hat-trick to put Swindon back in full control shortly after although Raiders weren’t ready to give up as Piatak netted on the powerplay to make it 6-4.

Aaron Nell got himself on the board with two minutes left as Tomasz Malasinski picked him out to seal a 7-4 win.

Raiders got off to yet another strong start at home to Telford Tigers the following night before crashing to a 6-4 defeat.

Captain Aaron Connolly opened the scoring in the fourth minute to make it 1-0 but the Tigers levelled it through a point shot from Nick Oliver.

Connolly notched his second of the game before then setting up Erik Piatak to take a 3-1 lead into the first period break.

Former Raiders forward Scott McKenzie struck a minute into the second period then the Scotsman grabbed a second on the powerplay shortly after.

Joseph Aston then found the back of the net to give the Tigers a 4-3 lead heading into the third period.

McKenzie completed his hat-trick just 22 seconds into the final period on the powerplay to make it 5-3.

Former Basingstoke Bison winger Connolly notched his hat-trick to give the Raiders a fighting chance as he made it 5-4 mid-way through the third period.

Austin Mitchell-King then restored the two goal cushion short handed to all but end Raiders chances although they pulled the goalie and pushed right to the end.

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