Raiders ‘must beat Cardiff’
PUBLISHED: 16:00 25 March 2015
Captain Davis wants a win before play-offs
London Raiders captain Tom Davis says this weekend’s clash with Cardiff is a must-win game.
Raiders secured their National League play-off spot last weekend after beating Solent 5-4 at Lee Valley.
They went down 6-2 at MK Thunder the following night, but had done enough to secure eighth place ahead of Oxford and Cardiff.
And Davis wants them to get back to winning ways before they take on champions Chelmsford over the Easter weekend.
He said: “Cardiff this weekend I still see as a must-win game.
“We want to go into play-offs with that win under our belt and hopefully keep the ball rolling.
“Last Saturday was a very big win for Raiders. It meant we were that bit closer to securing that play-off spot.
“The game had a good tempo from both sides. We jumped into a quick lead, but give Solent credit they never gave up and managed to get themselves back into the game.”
Jakub Kostelansky’s early brace put Raiders on top and Vaclav Drabek made it 3-0 before George Norcliffe and Michael Gorman replied either side of the break.
Grant Taylor made it 4-2 at the second break, but Norcliffe struck twice more in the final period to complete his hat-trick and level it up.
Raiders converted on a late 5-on-3 chance, though, to claim the points, with Davis netting the winner.
He added: “It made my night even better by nicking the game winning goal with only a couple minutes left, so all round was a good night for the Raiders!”
Raiders were always chasing the game against the Thunder, for whom Josh Nicklin netted four times.
The home side scored three powerplay goals on the night as Raiders fell foul of referee Rick Adams, with David Oliver, Davis and Ross Willkinson all ejected.
Goals from Drabek and Taylor were little consolation for the visitors and Davis added: “Sunday was up there with one of the worst performances I’ve seen all season and I don’t just mean by the players.
“The game had no flow and was flat which is hard to play on a big rink, but take no credit away from MK, they got the job done.”
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