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Nov 5, 2017

Streatham soar to Quarter Final

With fireworks illuminating the night sky across South London, the Streatham Arena was not as busy as perhaps it usually would be for a game involving old rivals Invicta Dynamos.

Two old combatants with passionate supporters locking horns for the second time in weeks, with a Cup Quarter final on the line for the home side, meant the tie would always have a little edge and so it proved.

The RedHawks, still energised from the previous week slaying of Swindon started the game as favourites, a rare moniker in days gone by for such encounters, but recently more common. Before face-off a minutes silence was held for the recently passed Maureen Johnston, a part of the Streatham family and much missed. Fittingly former Streatham Captain Joe and son Jacob Johnston were in the crowd to witness the tribute to a special lady, the mother of Streatham icon Jim Johnston.

The RedHawks flame haired Coach Jeremy Cornish and his well-drilled four line unit engulfed the Dynamos zone with energy and craft from the start, and were soon rewarded by a snipe from Alex Sampford. Streatham’s number 7 given all the time he needed to ping the puck down off the bar and into the net past John Dibble.

The home crowd roared, the drums began and then it was 2-0. As slick as the Model Rick Martell, the RedHawks powerplay carved open the Mo’s defence and the puck fell to Adam Carr in front of net. Number 18 waited, and waited for Dibble to blink and then backhanded the puck into the net.

Champagne hockey ensued, this was what the crowd had come to see. Local favourite Joe Allen raced down the right wing, looked across at his support and decided he would be better off going alone heeding the advice of Alice DJ. He wound up his stick and boom, the clapper blazed past Dibbles pads like a flaming arrow.

The Dynamos looked shell shocked. Streatham were on fire. But there was to be no more scoring before the buzzer. The Royal British Legion continued their collection in the stands, both sets of fans were pleased to see them.

The visitors desperately wanted the next goal but it was not to be. With Brandon Webster serving two minutes for slashing, Streatham’s powerplay purred yet again, this time with Michael Farn blasting the puck into the top corner of the net from the point.

It was to be the end of Dibble, who was replaced by Damien King in between the pipes for the visitors. Coach Kevin Parrish had shuffled his pack, but would soon have to shuffle more cards. Star forward Callum Fowler sent for an early shower for butt ending giving the Mo’s more problems, especially as they were on a powerplay at the time.

With the game descending to a scrappy affair the crowd needed something to rival the displays at nearby Crystal Palace and Brockwell Park. Step forward Mason Webster and Brandon Miles, who both dropped the gloves and went hammer and tongs.

The bout gave the visitors a brief spark and they pushed forward more with purpose. However frustration was brimming and when star forward Rehak theatrically dived across the ice after minimal contact clutching his face then torso, referee Matthews observed from close range raising a quizzical eyebrow. The official’s positioning had foiled any attempt of deception and the Invicta man left his gloves and stick in the zone before steaming back to his own bench in fury. It was perhaps a moment that encapsulated the visitors mood at that moment.

No further scoring occurred in the second period, and the period break SCORO saw a soldier try to hit the jackpot from centre ice. He didn’t get close and the prize fund reached the £400 plus mark for the next game.

Any advantage of an early face off was lost at the beginning of the 3rd period when Invicta goalie King pointed out a chunk of ice missing in his crease. Rink staff were on hand, indeed a man with very short shorts was on hand and after what seemed like hours, the game resumed.

The delay sucked the energy from the encounter and when Sampford scored his second to make it 5-0 less than a minute from the restart it was game over as a contest. A minute later Ben Paynter tangled with a Dynamos player and Captain Arran Strawson dived in to help his team mate sparking a royal rumble type affair with players from both sides windmilling and ‘kicking off.’

The result was an early shower for Streatham’s Paynter, a fortunate two minutes for Strawson, and some alone time in the sin bin for a number of combatants.

Invicta spent much of the remainder of the game on the powerplay and finally broke Matt Colclough’s shut out as Webster tipped a Tommy Ralph shot into the net. The away support roared in approval while the Streatham drums started up for a rousing finale.

The game slowly came to a close with Streatham the 5-1 victors. Allen earning the plaudits as man of the match for his display and Webster honoured in exact same fashion for the visitors.

The supporters trooped out reflecting on a second successive home win and an upturn in form. The fireworks had been in evidence on the ice, and Streatham sparked into a confident mood before their trip to Cardiff tomorrow.

Scorers: Sampford 2+1, Farn 1+1, Carr 1+0, Allen 1+0, Watt 0+2, Doughty 0+1, Hayes 0+1, Warman 0+1, Jordan Gregory 0+1