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National League: Swindon Wildcats 3 Raiders 2

PUBLISHED: 07:59 26 February 2018 | UPDATED: 07:59 26 February 2018

Raiders forward Matt Turner (pic John Scott)

Raiders forward Matt Turner (pic John Scott)

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Raiders returned empty-handed from Swindon after a hard-fought contest in Wilshire on Sunday.

Raiders defenceman Callum Wells (pic John Scott) Raiders defenceman Callum Wells (pic John Scott)

Beaten 6-1 by Peterborough at Romford’s Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre on Saturday, the visitors were at full strength at the Link Centre and only 18 seconds had been played when Matt Turner was called for hooking.

The home side capitalised on the power play with less than a minute on the clock as Phil Hill netted, but Edgars Bebris was then ejected with a match penalty for boarding.

A minor high-sticking penalty against Alan Lack negated two minutes of the major power play and the Raiders forward was back in the box with Sam Godfrey after both were given roughing penalties.

Raiders lost Julian Smith to a boarding call as well, but were back on terms before the first break as Turner struck with 50 seconds remaining in the period.

Swindon were caught with too many men on the ice early in the middle session, then lost Stevie Whitfield on a minor penalty soon after, to give Raiders just over a minute with a 5-on-3 advantage.

The hosts survived their shorthanded spell, though, and then went on the power play themselves when Callum Wells was called for charging.

More penalties followed a minute later as Lack received a 2+10 for checking from behind and Maxim Birbraer was called for roughing, with a delay of game minor against Sean Barry extending Swindon’s time with a man advantage.

But Raiders killed off the penalties as the match reached the midway point, only for Barry to be banished again for holding the opponent’s stick.

However Swindon could not make them pay as the scoreline remained unchanged at the end of the period.

The home side regained the lead in the 47th minute, as Sam Bullas scored but Raiders were back on terms just two minutes later through Jake Sylvester.

Hopes of holding on for a point were soon dashed, though, as Hill claimed his second goal of the night for Wildcats at 51.43, which proved decisive.

Swindon: Phil Hill 2; Sam Bullas 1; Maxim Birbraer* 0+2; Chris Jones 0+1; Floyd Taylor 0+1; Aaron Nell 0+1; Jan Kostal* 0+1.

Raiders: Matt Turner 1; Jake Sylvester 1; Olegs Lascenko 0+1; Juraj Huska* 0+1.

Penalty minutes: Swindon 35 Raiders 26.

Shots on goal: Renny Marr (S, 59.42) 12-6-14=32-2; Michael Gray (L, 57.47) 9-20-12=41-3, empty net (2.13) 0-0.

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