A shortbenched Invicta Dynamos were unable to replicate their English Challenge Cup heroics in Berkshire on Saturday night as they fell to a 7-1 road defeat in a rematch with the Bracknell Bees.
The Mos travelled to the Hive minus Mark Lee, Charlie Phillips, Andy Smith, Grant Baxter, Brad Gutridge and Juraj Huska who were all either injured or rested and as a result they were up against it when faced with their EPL opposition. The Bees would break the deadlock at 06.54 – the energetic Ivan Antonov launching at net from wide right and his effort flying through traffic and under the pads of an unsighted Chris Douglas to make it 1-0. That edge would then hold until the buzzer with the visitors only able to test Bracknell shot stopper Tom Annetts on 8 occasions – Annetts performing some acrobatics to thwart both Callum Fowler and Adam McNicoll.
In the second period the Dynamos made a lively start and they grabbed the equaliser they were looking for at 23.59 – Callum Fowler sending a shot beyond the grasp of Tom Annetts from the right channel with the puck trickling agonisingly over the line for 1-1. However the rest of the frame belonged to Bracknell and they restored their edge at 27.52 – Scott Spearing the architect with some neat stick work before a playmaker’s pass that allowed Ivan Antonov to steer home and make it 2-1. As the period drew to a close the Bees then enjoyed a remarkable spell that saw them find twine four times in as many minutes to return to the changing room 6-1 to the good. The first came at 35.02 – import Radek Hubacek rocketing home with a pinpoint finish that sent the puck over the line off of the underside of the bar for 3-1. The second followed immediately after at 35.34 – teenager Joshua Smith racing forward from the resulting faceoff and leaving Chris Douglas no chance for the three goal cushion. At 38.10 that edge grew yet further – Matt Towalski cutting back to the slot where an on-rushing Hubacek swept home for his second of the evening and a 5-1 one lead. The last of the frame then came at 39.54 – the Dynamos rear guard losing its way allowing James Galazzi to seize possession and prod beyond the netminder for a commanding 6-1 advantage on the scoreboard.
In the final period the Mos rallied despite their lack of depth and were able to keep the hosts at bay until late on in the frame to keep the scoreline respectable. In fact it took until 57.27 for the Bees to beat Chris Douglas again – Ryan Watt creating space for Ivan Antonov to fire in and complete both his hat-trick and a comfortable victory for the EPL outfit. Nevertheless the Dynamos showed great determination to remain in the tie with some resolute defensive work and promising counter attacks and were set to go into Sunday’s clash with their heads held high after a tireless display.
So it was a loss but Head Coach Kevin Parrish will have few complaints with the performance – his team largely in contention but for a frantic four minute spell in which they conceded four at the close of the second period. Bracknell demonstrated their EPL prowess with the more clinical finishing and were keen to avenge the 6-4 road defeat handed to them by the Dynamos just two weeks ago. Man of the match awards went to Ivan Antonov of the Bees whilst Callum Fowler took the spoils for the visitors.