Streatham resumed their NIHL 1 season after a two-week break with a 4-0 home win over Oxford City Stars last weekend, writes Christopher Beal.
Sam Waller took just one minute to open the scoring at the High Road on Saturday.
Summer signing JJ Pitchley made an impression on the home crowd as he got into a fight with Harry Hatfield, both players ended up sitting in the box for five minutes as punishment.
Streatham doubled the score on 16 minutes. Josh Martin and Danny Ingoldsby provided the set up for Preston Tombs, whose long-range shot found the net.
Ross Miller frustrated the Streatham offence through the second period as he withstood a 23-shot barrage. Danny Milton’s defence limited the Stars to just three shots on net in the second.
Streatham scored a third on 49 minutes. Brandon Miles and Ziggy Beesley had been denied by Miller before Luke Brittle opened his account, tapping in the puck on an empty net rebound.
The hosts rounded off the scoring in the 51st minute with a succession of well-worked passes on the powerplay. Waller and Ben Paynter found Josh Ealey Newman, who applied the finish.
Beesley said: “We weren’t sure what kind of Oxford team we’d face.
“They’ve grown and strengthened so we didn’t underestimate them.
“Miller played well for them. We had some good passages of play with a lot of zone time. We had a lot of shots on net, but sometimes we need to be a bit more clinical.”
Milton, who kept a second home shutout, said: “We played one of our best games as a team. It felt good to get a shutout, but the boys made me have an easy night by keeping everything wide. Any shots I did face were simple saves.”
Coach Ben Paynter said: “It’s always hard to get back into it after time off and Oxford have been playing games, so to get that early goal and start the right way I was really happy.
“We controlled the game from start to finish. We’ve got a real good group this year- the morales good and there’s no negativity in the room. As a team we played the right way, which is a positive.
“When you play the right way and stick to your systems then goals will come. I was pleased to see Luke Brittle get a first goal. It was due. He’s a naturally gifted player who hasn’t played for four years, so it was going to take him a few weeks to get up to speed. By the end of the season, he’ll be one of the top scorers in this league and contributing all over the ice.”
Streatham lost 3-2 to the Stars in the return leg at Oxpens on Sunday as ex-Chelsea keeper Petr Cech put in a star performance for Oxford.
Streathams next home game is on Sunday against Invicta Dynamos (6.45pm).
PICTURES: MEL O’BRIEN/FUSIONAL
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