Three goals apiece saw the Invicta Dynamos ensure that their hosts Streatham took nothing from their turn with home advantage in the playoff semi-final 1st leg ahead of game two in Gillingham on Sunday night.
Coming into the tie the Mos had 17 players available – Haydn, Taylor and Bailey Wootton not present alongside Adam McNicoll whilst James Richardson sat out. Streatham had 19 – Daniel Clayton the only absentee as he was on duty elsewhere. Damien King and Matt Colclough were the starting goalies.
The opening frame lacked quality but on their own ice Streatham started the better – Daniel Rose firing onto the post in the early minutes before the hosts took the lead at 04.26 – James Warman’s blue line shot was timid but George Norcliffe’s redirect right in front left Damien King unable to react to put the Redhawks 1-0 up. A slashing call on Steve Fisher saw the Mos come into the tie and Elliott Dewey almost levelled but his drive from distance deflected up and onto the crossbar. Down the other end Alexander Sampford had two attempts at beating King – the first when clear in the slot was fired straight at the netminder whilst the second from the right circle was off the goalie’s shoulder and wide. In response the Dynamos were lacking that finishing touch – Arran Strawson’s slapshot fumbled by Matt Colclough but no-one in front to pick up the rebound whilst Adam Rehak was unable to poke Callum Fowler’s pass across the crease beyond the shot topper. Late on tempers then threatened to flare – Callum Best reacting to a hit from Mason Webster with a slash unseen by the officials prompting a wrestling match between Webster and Jack Tarczycki just moments later where both players sat holding minors. Following the restart the Dynamos thought they had equalised – a frantic goalmouth scramble seeing several forwards snapping at a loose puck with Steve Osman and many travelling fans convinced It had been forced over the line however the whistle had sounded and no strike was given.
In the second period the Dynamos equalised quickly – 21.49 the moment when Steve Osman found Scott Bailey in the slot and he fired at goal on the spin before then forcing beyond Matt Colclough at the second attempt for 1-1. Ondrej Zosiak nearly added a second as he went on a trademark coast-to-coast skate but then was unable to poke beyond the netminder at point blank range. With the Mos looking to be in the ascendency the wind was then taken out of their sails as Streatham tallied the next goal – Callum Best holding the play behind the net before picking out Ryan Webb all alone between the circles and he dispatched beyond Damien King for 2-1 at 31.38. Webb almost claimed an assist moments later as he countered down the right channel and fizzed the puck across the crease but the on-rushing Joe Johnston was unable to divert beyond King’s pads at the back post. The save would prove all the more valuable at 37.43 – with James Warman in the box following a knee on knee collision that was bizarrely called as elbowing, Zosiak found Callum Fowler right of the target and he battled the D to maintain possession before bundling in for 2-2.
Having levelled the tie late in the second, Callum Fowler was looking for the go-ahead goal at the start of the 3rd and appeared to have broken free of Streatham’s back line but the diving poke check of Jack Tarczycki robbed him of the puck just as he was about to pull the trigger. Tempers were then on the rise again soon after – Adam Rehak tiring of his chaperone Jacob Ranson who had been man martialling him all night and initiating an exchange of shoves between the two. This would boil over at 48.21 – Adam Wood reacting to a hit with a crosscheck behind the play resulting in a scrap between both himself and Rehak that also saw other players wade in. With the difficult task of assessing penalties referee Evans gave the Czech 2+2 for fighting, Wood the same plus another 2 for cross checking and Tommy Ralph a game misconduct for third man in. Instantly after a hit on Scott Bailey resulted in a bloody nose for the forward that saw no further penalties awarded to incense the away side. However, still on the powerplay, Ashley Jackson almost put them ahead with a slapshot towards the 5-hole from the right circle but Matt Colclough reacted quickly to trap the puck. Kevin Parrish called a timeout to settle his troops and when Chris Cooke was sent to the box for slashing to give the Dynamos a 5-on-3 the visitors then took the lead for the first time. At 50.21 Colclough palmed a shot up into the air and Jackson was fastest to react close right batting into the net for the 3-2 edge. Back in the action Bailey almost made it 4-2 but his drive from the slot was into the mask of the netminder before Streatham rescued a draw in the dying minutes. At 57.34 Ryan Giles found Daniel Rose in front and he found a way beyond Damien King to ensure it was honours even at the final buzzer.
So neither team would hold an advantage with 60 minutes played though the Mos would arguably be the happier of the sides having returned to Kent with nothing to chase and the away day complete. Man of the match awards went to the ever energetic Scott Bailey of the Dynamos whilst Jacob Ranson took the spoils for the hosts having man-marked Adam Rehak for the entirety of the fixture and restricted his input into the game.
Written by Paul Bennett.