Condren’s empty net goal sinks Streatham in league

joshuacondren_031216An empty net goal from Joshua Condren just 14 seconds from time and a man of the match performance from netminder John Dibble sealed a narrow 5-3 victory for the Dynamos against Streatham in a league thriller on Saturday.

The Mos came into the tie as close to full strength as they have been since the start of the campaign with all skaters now available and only shot stoppers Damien King and James Richardson still side-lined. John Dibble continued in net with 17 year old Kieran Wyatt his back-up. The visitors were only without the suspended Steve Fisher.

In the opening minutes a contested 2+10 checking from behind penalty on Mason Webster gave the Redhawks a powerplay and they took advantage at 01.51 – Callum Best’s pass finding an unmarked George Norcliffe in the slot and he fired in off the right post for 1-0. The visitors would look the better side in the opening frame and John Dibble had to be alert to deny Sean Scarbrough from between the faceoff circles and Best from close left before a hooking penalty to Joe Allen provided the Mos a chance to find their footing. At 12.56 Arran Strawson’s blue line shot was redirected in the air by Ashley Jackson en route to goal leaving netminder Matt Colclough no time to react and pulling the hosts level at 1-1. Streatham then had the best chance of what remained in the frame – Norcliffe skipping beyond the challenge of Adam McNicoll in the right channel to go clear but Dibble stood tall at his near post leaving him little to aim at.

In the second period visiting import Sean Scarbrough must have thought he was in the clear as he skated through on net but Mos defenceman Ondrej Zosiak raced back and dived to poke the puck to safety with the American poised to pull the trigger. The teams then exchanged chances – Adam Rehak leaving Chris Cooke chasing shadows but unable to beat Matt Colclough before Joe Johnston was found with time and space in the slot but a great glove save from John Dibble robbed him of a certain goal. At 32.34 the Dynamos took the lead – Ashley Jackson’s centring pass teeing up Nicky Lewis in the middle and, though Colclough blocked the Welshman’s attempt, the goalie could do nothing about Rehak’s follow up close left that made it 2-1. A high stick by Jack Tarczycki on Mason Webster then gave the hosts another powerplay and they extended their advantage at 35.49 – Rehak playing the puck down the line to Callum Fowler and the captain roofing over the netminder from the left circle for 3-1. George Norcliffe had the opportunity to answer before the break but his effort from close left was straight into the mask of Dibble leaving Streatham two down with 20 minutes to play.

After two largely scrappy frames in which the visitors had edged the shot count the Mos looked stronger in the last – Adam Rehak testing Matt Colclough from wide left and Nicky Lewis firing through traffic onto the far post from the right wing. Joshua Condren’s centring pass then found Bailey Wootton bearing down on the target but the netminder saved his backhand effort and managed to keep the puck out of the net despite the frantic goalmouth scramble that followed. At 49.58 the hosts got the goal their new-found incisiveness deserved but in bizarre circumstances –Colclough and Lewis both chasing down a loose puck and, though the goalie appeared to get there first, an optimistic swing at the disc from the Welshman robbed the netminder and sent the puck over the line from wide left for 4-1. Soon after tensions spilled over with Mason Webster and Casimir Madren-Britton ditching the gloves – Webster landing a number of hefty blows to ground his opponent but the Streatham man rose to his feet again and answered well to pull Webster’s jersey over his head with the Mos man thinking the scrap was over. In the aftermath Ryan Giles pushed out at Callum Fowler prompting Tommy Ralph to race in and start punching the Streatham D-man as Giles then protested his innocence and attempted to escape the bout. The result were roughing penalties on Webster and Madren-Britton (the Redhawks man getting an extra 2) whilst Ralph received 5+game for resisting the linesman. With a new-found energy the visitors then pulled a goal back at 52.27 – James Warman’s high shot from the back of the right circle too quick for the glove of Dibble and cutting the deficit to 4-2. At 55.27 the score was then 4-3 – Vaclav Drabek’s drive from deep heading wide until George Norcliffe reacted quickly at the back post to turn in and set up a frantic finale. In the dying minutes Streatham had their chances – Sean Scarbrough breaking clear but Dibble saving with the pads before Callum Best had space clear right but he too found Dibble defiant. Eventually the visitors pulled their goalie but the gamble was not to pay off – Joshua Condren racing onto an Ondrej Zosiak clearance down the left wing and finding the empty net to seal an invaluable 5-3 victory.

So after a scrappy start it was a big win for the Dynamos and a third in succession that sees them climb back up the NIHL South Division 1. Man of the match awards went to the impressive George Norcliffe of Streatham whilst an outstanding performance from netminder John Dibble rightly saw him take the spoils for the hosts.

Written by Paul Bennett.

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