Streatham struggled to a 4-2 win over NIHL 1 title rivals Slough Jets on Sunday as they got their Britton Cup campaign off to successful start, writes Christopher Beal.
The RedHawks are carrying a lot of injuries but were buoyed by the announcement of the return of Jared Lane to the squad after a brief break from the sport.
Slough were forced to change netminders as Brett Massey made way for Ruari McGibbon in the fifth minute.
Streatham opened the scoring in the 16th minute. Ben Ealey-Newman produced a a close-range finish after McGibbon made the initial save with James Warman and Danny Ingoldsby collecting the assists.
Jets levelled two minutes into the second period. Danny Milton went go clear a puck from behind his net only to play it straight to a waiting Jack Goodchild, who applied the finish into an open net.
Streatham retook the lead in bizarre circumstances, Jets defenceman Timo Lindgren redirected a puck past his own netminder. As there are no own goals in hockey it was awarded to Ziggy Beesley as the last Streatham player to touch the puck.
Goodchild made it 2-2 after being set up by Kyle Bradburn.
Streatham scored two on the bounce in the third period to seal the game.
Ben Ealey-Newman fired in a loose puck off a rebound in the 49th minute after Ben Paynter had produced the initial shot.
Luke Brittle collected a pass from Danny Ingoldsby and made it 4-2 on 53 minutes, Ben Ealey-Newman collecting an assist.
Streatham head coach Ben Paynter said: “It wasn’t the best of games, both teams were probably not at their best. But at the end of the day it’s a good result and we’ve got two points on the board to start the cup campaign.
“Lines are changing at the moment with the injuries but we’ve all played hockey long enough, we’ve all known each other long enough to be able to gel as a group and get on the ice and work together.
“We’ve got enough experience in that locker room to do that and find ways to get it done.”
Streatham assistant captain Beesley said: “Paynter is managing the injuries well, all of the roster is ready to go 100 per cent of the time.”
Streatham return to action face the two teams who have beaten them this season. They welcome Chelmsford Chieftains to the High Road tomorrow (5.30pm) before travelling to Invicta on Sunday (5.45pm).
PICTURES: MEL O’BRIEN/FUSIONAL
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