Davis positive about London Raiders
14:00 21 September 2016
Captain happy with squad’s early signs
London Raiders captain Tom Davis felt there were plenty of positives to take from their season-opening defeat at Invicta at the weekend.
Dynamos had recorded back-to-back shutouts against Chelmsford and Bracknell a week earlier, but Raiders needed only 42 seconds to open their account in the National League Cup clash through Marek Nahlik, who put them ahead for a second time in the middle period.
The home side cancelled out those goals through Nicky Lewis and Adam Rehak, who then put them 3-2 up with only a few minutes remaining and set up a late fourth for Haydn Wootton.
But Davis said: “I feel for the first game of the season it went well. Obviously it wasn’t the result we wanted, but there was loads of positive to take from the game.
“We scored two goals which ended Damien King’s 100 per cent record this season and I thought the lines looked sharp, the defence looked strong and Michael Gray stood tall.”
Raiders iced new signings Thomas (Ziggy) Beesley, who went on to take their man of the match award, and James Pentecost in Gillingham, as well as young back-up goalie Harry Buckingham.
And three other players also made an impression on their returns to a Raiders jersey.
Davis added: “I feel the new faces did really well and made good impressions. ‘Ziggy’ and Pents with their speed and ability to take on defence and Julian Smith once again with his strength at the back.
“I think the line with Jacob Ranson and JJ Pitchley will cause problems for teams all year with their speed.”
Raiders are set to welcome Oxford to Lee Valley for their first home match of the Division One season on Saturday, before visiting Streatham the following night.
And Davis believes this Raiders squad will prove a match for anyone this season, as they look to significantly improve on last season’s eighth-place finish.
He said: “It seems there is a great vibe in the room this year and all players are gelling quickly, which is good.
“Hopefully over the next week or so we will be up to match-level fitness, where I’m certain we can take points from any team.”