The Invicta Dynamos slumped to a 7-4 road loss on Saturday despite goals from Juraj Huska (2), Steve Osman and Anthony Leone as the Daniel Hughes inspired Bracknell Hornets inflicted a third NIHL South Division 1 defeat on the Gillingham side.
In the opening period the Mos were slow to get going and Bracknell made them pay the price at 04.47 – Jake Pitchley sending Daniel Hughes in behind all alone and the experienced forward shooting high stick side for the opener. At 06.36 the Dynamos then answered against the run of play – Steve Osman finding Juraj Huska back on the blue line and the Slovak firing in beyond an unsighted Mark Duffy through traffic to tie it up at 1-1. It was a rare opportunity in an opening frame in which the Hornets tested Chris Douglas 16 times whilst the Mos were able to launch the puck at net on just 7 occasions.
If the opening frame was disappointing from the Dynamos then the second would prove disastrous as Bracknell were allowed to dominate from beginning to end with the Mos too sloppy at the back. They inevitably conceded at 22.40 – the rear guard too slow to react allowing three unchallenged chances at net with the last being tucked away by Joshua Smith from close range. 2-1 then became 3-1 at 26.13 when Daniel Hughes sent Jake Pitchley in all alone and he stick handled left around Chris Douglas before turning just inside the upright for the two goal cushion. Callum Fowler tried to respond with a great coast-to-coast skate and a wrist effort that found the shoulder of Mark Duffy soon after but the hosts maintained the momentum and added a fourth at 31.46. Billy Phillips accidentally presented the puck perfectly to Daniel Hughes allowing the forward a clear run at goal with a teammate for company but he needed no help and finished from close left for 4-1. At 34.22, despite being a man up, the Mos then conceded again – another giveaway causing a costly 2-on-1 that ended with Peter Jasik centring for Daniel Rose the other side of the target for an easy finish that left Chris Douglas raging. The visitors then briefly stemmed the flow with a powerplay strike at 36.41 – Steve Osman bringing an end to a frantic goalmouth scramble when he flicked home from close range to cut the deficit to 5-2. However any hopes of a momentum shift were dashed as quickly as 37.01 – yet another wayward pass allowing Joshua Smith and Daniel Hughes a 2-on-1 and Smith fed Hughes at the back of the right circle allowing him to complete his hat-trick with a slapshot through the 5-hole.
After a nightmare second period the Dynamos returned early for the last and finally exhibited some of the fight that had been absent across the opening 40 minutes. At 41.14 they would tally – Steve Osman thinking he had scored from close right but Anthony Leone making sure with the follow up at the far post to cut Bracknell’s edge to 6-3. At 48.37 a very high check by Luke Reynolds then saw tempers flare as Billy Phillips ditched the gloves to seek retribution and his opponent opting to duck and cover and seek help from the officials. More trouble then followed at 51.57 when Callum Fowler reacted to provocation from Joshua Smith promoting Charlie Phillips to step in and push his opponent. The two instigators were each given minors whilst Phillips received a harsh game penalty for third man in. When the action restarted the Mos hit back once more to cut the deficit to 6-4 at 52.59 – Juraj Huska turning on the inside edge of the right circle and lifting over the reach of Mark Duffy for his second of the night. However with time running out the visitors were forced to go all-out attack and it would ultimately cost them at 59.00 – the Dynamos pulling Chris Douglas from net allowing Peter Jasik to race onto a clearance and wrist home to complete the 7-4 victory.
So it was defeat for the Mos but it will be the manner of defeat that will hurt Head Coach Kevin Parrish the most with his side essentially turning up in the fixture 40 minutes too late. Bracknell were allowed to run riot across the first two periods leaving an insurmountable deficit when his team finally woke up in the last. A bad day at the office then and one the side will need to avoid the likes of again if they wish to challenge for the title. Man of the match awards went to Steve Osman of the Mos whilst hat-trick hero Daniel Hughes took the spoils for the Hornets.