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Nov 2, 2015

Battling Streatham stay top

Streatham Redskins secured their place at the top of NIHL South with a hard fought win over the in-form Oxford City Stars.

It was a short bench for the hosts with Chris Wiggins out for the second game of the weekend with concussion along with Nicky Chinn, James Warman, Caz Britton, Ryan Giles and Michael Ranby who were all missing too. Youngster Daniel Clayton and veteran David Carr returned to the line-up.

It took just three minutes for Streatham to open the scoring as Evander Grinell passed the puck out in front to Adam Wood and he fired first time past Conor Ranby in the Stars goal from close range.

Two minutes later it was 2-0 to Streatham as Captain Joe Johnston was first to react to a loose puck in front of goal and he rounded Ranby to score.

The Stars were shaken and Streatham made it 3-0 a minute later as Johnston rolled back the years by outpacing the Oxford defence and then rounding Ranby again before firing high into the goal.

It was a sublime few minutes of hockey, topped off soon after by Dom Hopkins who skated in unopposed from the point and fired the puck between Ranby’s legs for 4-0.

If the first period had been a Streatham masterclass, the second saw Oxford’s high work rate start to reap dividends on the tired Redskins legs.

Will Sanderson had been on top form throughout the game, but was finally beaten with 25 minutes on the clock as Ben Ealey Newman picked his spot from the slot.

Streatham had chances at the other end too, but the Stars found themselves more and more frustrated by big saves from the Streatham goalie.

Oxford started the third period on top as they continued the momentum from the second, and less than a minute from the restart it was 4-2 as Joe Oliver popped up in the right spot to roof the puck past Sanderson from the angle.

Two minutes later it appeared a comeback was on the cards as a speculative shot from the left wing squirmed out of Sanderson’s pads and Josh Florey was quickest to react and tap the puck in.

Oxford had their tails up and then got a massive boost thanks to a match penalty on Adam Wood after he dropped the gloves with Jason Ikin. Wood also picked up an addition minor penalty and this meant Streatham would have to kill off a seven minute powerplay with an already tired bench.

From the first puck drop, Evander Grinell and Joe Allen skated hard at the Stars and unsettled their powerplay and so the trend continued throughout as the penalty kill unit did itself proud.

Oxford’s failure to convert with the man advantage came back to haunt them as in the dying minutes, Kamil Kinkor weaved his way through the Stars defence and fired past Ranby to put the home side home and dry at 5-3.