Raiders keep home run going
Raiders extended their unbeaten home record to five matches with a hard-fought win over Cardiff at Lee Valley.
Having drawn with Solent and Invicta, before wins over Bracknell and Milton Keynes, Raiders returned to their temporary home on the back of successive defeats at Chelmsford and Invicta last weekend.
And Alan Blythâ€™s men were on the powerplay after only 31 seconds after Thomas Stuart-Dant was called for delay of game.
The home side made their extra man count as Bailey Chittock and Jack Cooper combined to set up Michal Oravec, who fired home a superb shot.
Zak Shanahan was binned for slashing midway through the first period, but Raiders captain Tom Davis joined him in the penalty box a minute later on a similar call to leave the teams skating four-on-four.
The hosts doubled their lead moments later, though, as defenceman Robbie Veares claimed his first goal for the club, on assists from Oravec and David Oliver.
Stuart-Dant made two more trips to the sin bin, for high sticks and hooking, and Raiders made him pay on the second of those powerplays as Chittock and Rio Grinell-Parke linked up well and Oravec claimed his second goal of the period.
A three-goal lead was no more than Raiders deserved at the first break, having dominated the shot count 20-7.
But they saw Rob Jenner, Davis and Oliver penalised in the middle session and Cardiff hit back with a powerplay goal of their own, during a spell of 5-on-3, through Stuart-Dant.
Mark Robinson was binned for hooking in the final minute of the period, but Raiders killed off the penalty either side of the break only to see Marek Nahlik sent to the box for tripping as Cardiffâ€™s Taylor was called for holding.
The scoreline remained unchanged until the 55th minute, when Rhys Harding pulled Cardiff to within one goal, but their hopes of salvaging a point were then hit 30 seconds later as Taylor was binned for delay of game.
Raiders could not convert on the powerplay, but were able to hold onto their slender lead in the final three minutes for victory.
Scorers, Raiders; Michal Oravec* 2+1 Robbie Veares 1 Bailey Chittock 0+2 Jack Cooper 0+1 David Oliver 0+1.
Cardiff; Thomas Stuart-Dant 1 Rhys Harding 1 Kieran Latchford 0+2 Zak Shanahan 0+1.
Shots faced; Michael Gray (L) 7-10-12=29-2 Michael Crisp (C) 20-8-8=36-3.
Report courtesy of the Romford Recorder