By David Carr
Streatham are determined to bounce back after exiting the National Cup at the quarter-final stage and narrowly lose to London Raiders in the league.
Head coach Jeremy Cornish insisted his team were “robbed” after two late goals for the Raiders capped off a weekend to forget for the RedHawks in which they tied Telford Tigers 4-4 in Shropshire to go out 9-6 on aggregate.
The South London club had taken a healthy following to watch the team take on the Tigers in Telford for the first time since the early 1990s. A three-goal deficit from the first leg left the RedHawks with a mountain to climb but a hat-trick from Aidan Doughty and a lone goal from Ryan Webb salvaged some pride at a venue where the Tigers had won every game since early November.
“We played fast and in their face all night,” said Cornish. “Telford are the best side we have played this year in any competition. They have a good mix of experience and youth and will be a good bet for the final.
“One thing I really like about our team is that they don’t give up and play the game the right way. The work-rate is there and they didn’t go to Telford expecting to roll over.”
The following evening in South London was highly frustrating as the RedHawks outshot and outplayed the Raiders for much of the game but could not find a way past in-form goalie Michael Gray.
The hosts took a slender one-goal lead into the third period through Michael Farn but had two disallowed efforts before they succumbed to a late sucker-punch – Olegs Lascenko and Juraj Huska sealed the points for the Raiders.
Streatham go to Bracknell Bees on Sunday. The team are likely to be at full strength apart from defenceman Adam Wood, who is likely to miss the rest of the season due to a knee injury.
“There’s never a good time to get injured but this has been particularly frustrating,” said Wood, 27.
“I’ve really been enjoying this season and the team is getting better and better. I can’t believe I’m not going to be playing as we enter the business end of the season. We are still unclear on the timescale for recovery. It is unfortunate, but this is the nature of the sport we play and I have been incredibly lucky that this is my first major injury.”
Cornish has yet to decide if he will bolster the squad in Wood’s absence. Michael Farn has been handed the alternate captaincy for the rest of the season as a result.