A Jaroslav Cesky double and goals from Steve Osman and Louis Colvin saw the Invicta Dynamos overcome Streatham 4-2 during an excellent display in their final home league game of the 2017/18 campaign.
The Mos had 16 players coming into the tie but were without Ross Connolly and John Dibble. The visiting RedHawks had 19 – Alex Goldstone and Adam Wood their absentees. Damien King and Matt Colclough were the starting netminders.
The opening frame saw an even start but few chances as the sides cancelled each other out. The hosts were given a powerplay several minutes in but it was actually Streatham who had the best opportunity a man down – Ryan Watt speeding clear on the breakaway but being upended by the last ditch challenge of Ryan Morgan resulting in a penalty shot. With only Damien King to beat, Watt shifted from side to side several times to commit the goalie but then fired onto the foot of the left post to leave the game at 0-0.
Down the other end Ondrej Zosiak tested the reflexes of Matt Colclough with a blue line drive into the pads before Steve Osman fed Mason Webster alone in the slot but he was unable to turn beyond the netminder. Having spurned several powerplays of their own, the Mos then gave up the opening goal whilst Harrison Lillis sat for interference – Adam Carr losing his marker in the left circle and firing into the net off the post to put his team 1-0 up at 16.37. Streatham were pegged back as soon as 17.46 though – Osman’s reverse pass finding Webster elder against the left boards and he fired to the crease where the on-rushing Jarsolav Cesky poked over the glove of Colclough for 1-1.
The second period was fast, frantic and physical but hugely entertaining for the sizeable crowd. At 22.16 a goalmouth scramble prompted Harrison Lillis and Ben Paynter to ditch the gloves – Lillis landing three good early blows and pulling his opponent’s jersey over the head before dropping another trio of punches and flooring the Streatham man for a comprehensive win. When the action restarted Michael Farn spurned a good opportunity as he got clear close left but missed the target before the tie took a another turn for the physical at 27.19. Brandon Webster knocked Farn to the ice prompting the D-man to throw punches from the floor and Webster to respond in kind. All the players then grouped and the officials intervened to prevent a full on fight – both parties picking up 2+2.
When the action restarted, Jake Stedman landed a solid hit on Adam Carr prompting Ryan Watt to charge in and knock him to the floor well behind the play for a roughing minor. Watt’s indiscipline would cost his side at 31.08 – Tommy Ralph fizzed the puck to the crease from the blue line and it caught the skate of Jaroslav Ceksy who had his back to goal and slipped through the legs of Matt Colclough to make it 2-1. Ondrej Zosiak came close to extending that lead as he went coast-to-coast and beat each Streatham player individually but Streatham’s netminder came up with a big save.
Now chasing the tie, the visitors began to dominate the scoring chances and Michael Farn skipped in from the left boards only for his backhand shot from the slot to bounce to safety off the left post. At 37.07 the RedHawks would have their equaliser – Andreas Siagris escaped in behind and Arran Strawson’s trip was as blatant as will ever be seen prompting the referee to award another penalty shot. Siagris deked right and fired off the underside of the bar with the referee declaring no goal and then goal within the space of a second to make it 2-2. Their time on a level footing was over as soon as 39.24 though – a swift counter seeing Mason Webster and Jaroslav Cesky involved before Steve Osman carried the play into the final third down the left channel, moved from backhand to forehand right in front and finished in the top right corner over the reach of Matt Colclough for 3-2.
The final period began with the sides trading more minor penalties than chances and another flashpoint came at 49.13 as James Warman’s clumsy hit from behind sent Brandon Webster into the boards headfirst prompting some shoving and a 2 minute boarding minor for Warman. Streatham would kill the powerplay but concede not long after – at 52.28 Arran Strawson’s blue line shot into the pads of Matt Colclough caused a goalmouth scramble during which Louis Colvin evaded the attentions of Jacob Ranson to force in from point blank right for 4-2.
With time now against the visitors they began to look short of ideas and in fact it was the Mos who came closest to tallying before the buzzer sounded. Jaroslav Cesky escaped on the breakaway and held the puck until the last possible moment in the hope of committing the netminder but Streatham’s goalie made a big save. Steve Osman then escaped down the right hand channel and drilled towards the target but Matt Colclough froze the play after an initial fumble.
So it was a rare regulation time victory for the Dynamos who may have depended on shot stopper Damien King at times but who put in arguably their performance of the campaign to seal the two points in an enthralling encounter. A sizeable Gillingham attendance were on their feet at the final buzzer – the result the ideal way to sign off a difficult league campaign at home. Man of the match awards went to Adam Carr of Streatham and Jaroslav Cesky of the Dynamos.
Written by Paul Bennett.