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Raiders forward Pitchley is relishing more tough tests as points milestone draws near

PUBLISHED: 17:00 08 December 2017

JJ Pitchley expects another tough weekend for London Raiders (pic John Scott)

JJ Pitchley expects another tough weekend for London Raiders (pic John Scott)

Archant

London Raiders forward JJ Pitchley believes there are no easy games in the National League this season.

Raiders welcome Streatham to Lee Valley on Saturday (5.30pm), for the sixth meeting between the two clubs already, before a trip to Peterborough on Sunday.

They beat the Redhawks on their last visit to east London last month, having skated to success over the Phantoms a week earlier, but Pitchley knows Raiders cannot afford to be complacent.

He said: “It will be a tough weekend and that’s what we are preparing for every weekend now.

“Streatham are the top team at the moment after taking points off both Basingstoke and Bracknell last weekend

“We need to go into both games with a physical start and shut them down defensively and take advantage of their mistakes.

“Our system play recently has been good and it’s working, just like the last time in Peterborough a few weeks back.

“They play a skillful game, but don’t like the physical edge we have in our group of guys.”

Raiders have seen goalie Euan King return to his home-town club since starring in that success and were due to entertain the Phantoms last Sunday, but problems with the Lee Valley Arena ice saw the match postponed.

The club were also set to stage their first Teddy Bear Toss in support of chosen charity the National Autistic Society during the Peterborough match and a new date will be arranged.

And although frustrated by that unexpected night off, they were able to celebrate a 6-1 win at bottom club Cardiff on Saturday, where Pitchley picked up a pair of assists to move closer to a landmark tally.

The former Romford junior – and son of long-serving Radiers defenceman Ben – needs three more points to reach a century, having scored 50 goals and 47 assists to date.

He added: “To get 100 points for any club is good, but to do so for my home-town club will be a great feeling. And still being 23 I’ve got a lot of playing left in me, so those numbers will go up.

“Next season being the big return to Romford I’d like to get as close as I can to 150 points. It was always a dream of mine since dad played to wear the Raiders shirt and climb the scoring charts to sit with the greats of the gold and blue, so that won’t change anytime soon.”

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