BY DAVID CARR
Streatham are looking to bounce back this weekend after they slumped to a 6-2 loss in a frustrating home fixture against Swindon Wildcats last Sunday.
“There were key moments in the first where we made individual errors and once we went 3-0 behind it was going to be tough, but we still had plenty of opportunities and outshot them by some distance throughout the game.
“The crowd stuck with us and key decisions didn’t go our way, but we need to regroup and be ready for this coming weekend.”
The South Londoners began the Swindon game brightly with a number of chances only to find Wildcats goalie Renny Marr in fine form.
Despite the early pressure the visitors held firm and took the lead as Chris Jones found Max Birbraer in front of net, who wrong footed his marker and then deked Damien King.
It was 2-0 three minutes later as Birbraer raced clear down the right wing after Streatham over committed in attack, and the Swindon man picked his spot with a close-range slapshot leaving King no chance.
Streatham rallied and should have pulled a goal back as Marr spilled a shot and couldn’t gather in his crease. But just as Ryan Webb swept the puck home, the referee blew up assuming Marr had the puck covered. It was harsh on the Hawks.
They thought they had scored again only to see Michael Farn’s floated dump misjudged by Marr and to his relief land on the side netting.
Swindon extended the lead to 3-0 as the Hawks switched off on a powerplay and allowed another two-on-one with Jones again the provider for Birbraer’s hat-trick.
The RedHawks pulled a goal back with seconds remaining of the period as a lung-bursting skate by Farn was rewarded as he finally squeezed the puck past Marr.
Streatham needed an early goal at the start of the second period, but instead found themselves with a two-man disadvantage thanks to a late hit call on Jacob Ranson and an unsportsmanlike call on Ben Russell.
The Cats took full advantage making it 4-1 through Adam Harding on the powerplay and then 5-1 shortly after thanks to a goal tipped past King by Taylor.
Swindon resumed full control of the game with Streatham looking less composed than usual and it was no surprise when an all alone Jones tipped a puck through King’s legs in front of net.
At 6-1 down Streatham needed to restore some pride in the final third and they came out with purpose in the third period.
Ryan Webb pulled a goal back with 18 minutes to play, but despite heavy pressure on the Cats goal, they just couldn’t get another, typified by another disallowed goal by Andreas Siagris with the Cats taking a too many men penalty while he was on a breakaway.
It summed up a frustrating evening in South London with the only highlight being a third period appearance of youngster Brett Shepherd between the pipes, who made a number of saves and didn’t concede.
The RedHawks travel to Basingstoke Bison tomorrow and host Milton Keynes Thunder on Sunday at Streatham Arena.