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London Raiders expect tough Oxford exam

PUBLISHED: 12:30 23 October 2016

London Raiders forward JJ Pitchley (pic John Scott)

London Raiders forward JJ Pitchley (pic John Scott)

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Hat-trick hero Pitchley hopes to shoot down Stars

London Raiders forward JJ Pitchley expects a tough test at National League rivals Oxford City Stars tonight (Sunday, 6.15pm).

Raiders travel to the university city on the back of a 10-5 win over a depleted Invicta Dynamos in the cup competition at Lee Valley last night, in which Pitchley netted a hat-trick.

But the 22-year-old knows Oxford can be very difficult opponents in their own rink and said: “I’m looking forward to Oxford, but I think it will be a totally different game.

“It’s nothing we aren’t up for, though. The boys will put the effort in and hopefully we can get going early on in the game, get control and the points at the end of 60 minutes.”

Raiders, wearing special pink jerseys in support of the Breast Cancer Now charity, were without defenceman Matt France and suspended goalie Michael Gray for the visit of Invicta and handed a debut to Bristol Pitbulls loanee Ross Miller between the posts.

Dynamos arrived with just 13 skaters and veteran Glen Rodbourne in their net, but took a 2-0 lead in the first period as Haydn Wootton and Adam Rehak struck.

Pitchley set up new import Slavomir Buda for a reply, but Ashley Jackson made it 3-1 early in the second period.

Raiders then turned the match on its head with five goals in under five minutes, as Marek Nahlik, Pitchley, Jacob Ranson and captain Tom Davis (2) made it 6-3.

Pitchley and Nahlik netted again before the end of the period, with Pitchley completing his treble early in the final session and combining with Buda to set up Bailey Chittock for the home side’s 10th goal.

Dynamos netted a late double for consolation, but Pitchley said: “It was a good game. All the boys pulled together and it was a great effort from Ross (Miller) to ice for us.

“For myself it was a good game and it’s always nice to get a hat trick, especially in a game like a charity game.”

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