BY DAVID CARR
Streatham defenceman Andrew Cook maintains the team can’t afford any slip ups as they finally opened a gap at the top of the National League South.
The RedHawks continued their winning start to 2020 with two workmanlike wins over Bracknell Hornets and Slough Jets last weekend.
Forward Ben Paynter continued his recent scoring streak with a hat-trick in a 7-3 road win at the Hive on Saturday. The former Wightlink Raider has scored the same amount of league goals (13) this season, as in the three previous campaigns combined.
Brandon Miles, Adam Carr, Ryan Watt and Danny Ingoldsby got the other goals for the RedHawks.
Twenty-four hours later the team secured a four-point weekend thanks to a hard-fought 6-3 win over a plucky Slough side in South London.
The Jets managed to keep pace with the Londoners until late goals from Ryan Watt and Vanya Antonov finished the job. Watt had also scored in the first period with Ziggy Beesley, Danny Ingoldsby and Rhys McCormick also on target.
Former Streatham trio Bradley Hildreth (juniors), Stewart Tait and Dan Rose all scored for Slough in a game that at one stage looked ominous for the hosts.
“It was good to get some small clearance at the top of the table,” admitted blueliner Cook, who picked up his second man of the match award of the season in the Slough game.
“We’ve been in second and third position for most of the season with games in hand, so back to back double header wins have put us up where we want to be.
“During both games last weekend our opponents started well and brought a good tempo. It took us a while to get going on both nights but once we showed our class the scoreboard got ticking.”
Streatham host Cardiff Fire tomorrow in their only game of the weekend, with the visitors celebrating back-to-back wins over Milton Keynes and Oxford.
The Fire have made a number of new signings recently and have reversed their early season poor form. “On paper it looks like a comfortable game,” said Cook. “But hockey isn’t played on paper and Cardiff caused a big upset for Oxford recently, so it’s important we approach the game with the right mindset.
“These are the kind of games we can’t afford to slip up in, so I hope we get a good Saturday crowd to help us on our way.”
Streatham will again be without the suspended Adam Wood for the weekend and netminder Nate Gregory will undergo a late fitness test.
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