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Raiders ready for title test

PUBLISHED: 15:45 25 February 2011

Raiders player-coach Danny Marshall

Raiders player-coach Danny Marshall

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Marshall wants to make mark in title race

Romford Raiders player-coach Danny Marshall is backing his men to make life difficult for title rivals Isle of Wight tomorrow (Saturday).

The two sides meet at the island’s undersized Ryde Ice Arena, boasting long unbeaten records.

Romford have won their last 13 matches, while their hosts will take a 20-game streak into the showdown, and Marshall is expecting a warm welcome.

He said: “They’re not wrapping up the title this early. I expect them to try and rough us up a bit, but they’re not the most physical team.

“We’re not the type of team to be pushed around and they know that, we’ve proven that.”

Raiders will be without JJ McGrath, who is recognised as one of their more willing combatants, but Marshall added: “It’s a blow not having JJ, but good teams who want to win things need depth.”

Marshall’s men showed their character in coming back from early deficits to beat MK Thunder and Streatham last weekend.

And Raiders should be grateful for those tough tests according to Marshall, who added: “Last weekend was quite hard for us, but I’m glad it happened and it showed us if we don’t come prepared against stronger teams we could pay for it.

“It was a wake-up call. We’re having a good run, but when you’re playing teams who are not so good, then play a better team, it can take a while to step it back up.

“I know we’re capable but sometimes you get these lapses. We came through it and the Isle of Wight won’t have an easy task.”

Raiders won 5-2 on their previous league trip to Ryde this season in October, only to lose 3-1 in the return at Rom Valley Way.

And Marshall said: “These are the types of games I like to be involved in and we’ve got the key guys to step it up. I’m confident of getting a result, but I don’t want to sound too cocky.

“We went and won there earlier in the season without Huska, Miller and Leone, three key guys.

“Our lines have settled since and the boys are playing how I want us to, they all know their jobs.

“We’ve proved over the last six weeks, we’re a totally different team and I want to dictate the game.”

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