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‘Amazing fans’ helped Raiders says Smith

PUBLISHED: 07:53 19 February 2019

Raiders defenceman Julian Smith (pic John Scott)

Raiders defenceman Julian Smith (pic John Scott)

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Everyone Active Raiders defenceman Julian Smith paid tribute to the crowd at Romford’s Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre, after his side’s 3-2 win over Peterborough on Sunday.

Action from the match between Raiders and Peterborough (pic John Scott)Action from the match between Raiders and Peterborough (pic John Scott)

Raiders rallied from 2-1 down to claim the National League Division One points thanks to final period goals from Juraj Huska and Jake Sylvester.

And Smith, returning to the side after missing the previous weekend’s wins over Invicta and Streatham, said the backing from a big home support played its part.

He said: “It was very tough after two weeks off and going into first game with only four defencemen, but I got through it. The crowd were amazing, they really helped pull us through in the third period.

“We knew coming into the game that we were up against it with a short bench and against a strong team, but we showed great character to come back and win the game.”

Raiders celebrate Jake Sylvester's winner against Peterborough (pic John Scott)Raiders celebrate Jake Sylvester's winner against Peterborough (pic John Scott)

Raiders were without Smith’s fellow blueliners John Connolly and Callum Wells, as well as utility man Liam Chong and their young prospects, who were in Division Two action at Haringey.

But Sean Barry cancelled out Glenn Billing’s first-period power play strike in the middle session, only for Ales Padelek to restore Peterborough’s lead while they were enjoying another man advantage.

Huska squared matters after good work from captain Aaron Connolly and Blaho Novak to move one point closer to the 500-mark for Raiders, before Sylvester capitalised on a chance created by Filip Sedivy to win it.

Now Smith hopes Raiders can maintain momentum as they take a three-game winning run at leaders Swindon next weekend, before hosting Basingstoke the next night.

He added: “It felt great and we will take that feeling into next weekend.

“Next week will be two tough games, but we know that we have what it takes to beat them both.”

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