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Pitchley looks at positives for London Raiders

PUBLISHED: 08:30 14 February 2017

London Raiders forward JJ Pitchley prepares for a face-off against Chelmsford's Cameron Bartlett (pic John Scott)

London Raiders forward JJ Pitchley prepares for a face-off against Chelmsford's Cameron Bartlett (pic John Scott)

Archant

Forward reflects on frustrating weekend

JJ Pitchley tries to find a way through for London Raiders at Chelmsford (pic John Scott)JJ Pitchley tries to find a way through for London Raiders at Chelmsford (pic John Scott)

London Raiders forward JJ Pitchley drew on the positives after seeing his side take just one point out of a possible four in the National League at the weekend.

Raiders raced into a 3-0 lead at bottom club Bracknell on Saturday, before being pegged back by the Hornets, and looked to have secured victory when young defenceman Callum Burnett netted his first goal for the club late on.

But Danny Hughes struck with 60 seconds left to ensure it ended all square at 4-4 and Pitchley said: “Saturday we started well, getting the lead, but the tiredness kicked in and the short bench didn’t help.

“And as we have done one too many times we have let a lead slip and have ended up taking a draw.”

JJ Pitchley fires the puck into the offensive zone at Chelmsford (pic John Scott)JJ Pitchley fires the puck into the offensive zone at Chelmsford (pic John Scott)

Raiders travelled to newly-crowned champions Chelmsford the next night, without leading scorer Marek Nahlik, and saw Juraj Huska net twice in quick succession to leave them two goals down.

But Slavomir Buda and Pitchley hit back to get Raiders on terms before the first break, only for Chieftains to restore their two-goal cushion by the midway mark.

Pitchley’s second goal of the night kept Raiders hopes alive late on, but proved in vain as the home side sealed a 5-3 inside the final 90 seconds.

“Chelmsford was a good game to play in. It was a back and forward game right until the last couple of minutes,” said Pitchley, 23.

“We competed with them all over the ice and took our chances well. We just couldn’t get the fourth goal to tie it and get the momentum.”

Teenager Burnett impressed once again on the blue line and Pitchley believes Raiders can go into future meetings with Chelmsford with confidence.

The two sides are due to meet in Lee Valley on Saturday, with a two-legged cup semi-final to follow on the weekend of February 25-26.

He added: “Callum had a great weekend, being thrown straight in the deep end and getting his first goal on Saturday in Bracknell.

“We have the Chieftains in a few more games and we will be stronger and smarter going forward to take into the cup and the play-offs.

“Hats off to everyone this weekend. It’s hard when you have guys missing for whatever reason, but everyone stepped up especially on Sunday.”

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