Raiders coach Easton proud of achievements in first year at club as goals are achieved
PUBLISHED: 12:00 30 March 2018
Raiders head coach Sean Easton was proud of his side despite seeing them go out of the National League play-offs in the semi-finals to Basingstoke Bison.
The Romford-based outfit lost 7-4 at the Sapphire Ice & Leisure on Saturday, before a 3-0 defeat in the second leg at Basingstoke – meaning a 10-4 aggregate loss to the league champions.
“I am incredibly proud of the team’s achievements,” said Easton.
“Yes I’m disappointed as we got better and better week on week and would have been great to restart the season at the level we are now and it would be interesting to see the end results again.”
The former Chelmsford Chieftains coach believes his men gave it their all and feels on another day or weekend they could have got something from the tie.
“We gave the semi-finals a good go. Yes we lost, but I feel the referee made a wrong decision on Saturday that was a turning point within the game,” he said, referring to an incident that led to a Bison power play and allowed them to level.
“We were leading 2-1 and it was a game I felt if the decision was correct we could have got something out of.
“Sunday was an uphill battle. Missing JJ Pitchley, Juraj Huska and Ollie Baldock through injuries was a big blow, not only in talent but having the legs to compete.”
The 31-year-old was in high spirits regarding their overall achievements throughout the campaign after sealing fourth spot in the league and making the cup and play-off semi-finals.
“What we set out to achieve we achieved,” he added.
“The season in hindsight was a great achievement. I think all the old NIHL teams set out the same way to achieve the same goals but we achieved them.
“It was a learning year and when I asked the team after Basingstoke game ‘have we learnt anything?’ the reply was a resounding ‘yes’.”
Easton also revealed how much he has enjoyed his new challenge at Romford.
He said: “My first year at Romford and all I can say is wow, from the off-ice set up to the fans of the Raiders. It exceeded everything I expected for the better.
“The support is chilling every game and the louder they get the prouder I am to be a part of this organisation.”