Mixed fortunes for Solent Devils after bruising weekend

Solent Devils endured mixed fortunes in National League south division one last weekend.

Thursday, 28th January 2016, 8:00 am
Andrew Magee announced his return to the Solent Devils by scoring against Cardiff. Picture: Reece Gough

The Gosport Ice Arena outfit netted a bruising 3-0 triumph over Cardiff Devils in Wales on Saturday.

But then came crashing back to earth with a painful 5-1 defeat at Streatham Redksins the next day.

In Cardiff, after a bad-tempered opening period – which saw two of the home side and Devils trio Ralfs Circenis, Richard Facey and Alex Murray all sent to the bin – the visitors took the lead.

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Murray linked up with his brother Mitch to tee-up the returning Andrew Magee, who has come back to the club after a short spell at Oxford, to fire past Michael Crisp in the Cardiff net.

Soon after, Mitch Murray and the home side’s Zak Shanahan were sin-binned.

With a man advantage, Circenis then put the Devils 2-0 ahead from a Shaun Rudkin pass.

At the beginning of the third period, Facey made the most of another power play to net a fine solo effort and put the result beyond doubt.

The game then finished much as it had started, with a raft of penalties and Cardiff, in particular, finding themselves in hot water with the officials.

Streatham were the hosts 24-hours later and once again the game started in brutal fashion. Alex Murray suffered an early injury, which left him visibly shaken, while Facey was floored and had a cut to his nose.

With just four minutes to go of the first period, the game was halted as an ambulance was called for Alex Murray.

The Devils’ player coach was later released with a suspected concussion but his side were left to battle on without him.

The Redskins quickly added insult to injury when Steven Fisher opened the scoring. And 10 minutes later, he doubled his tally – with Adam Wood the provider on both occasions.

Despite a smattering of penalties for the Redskins, the Devils failed to reduce the deficit as time ticked down in the second period.

And their lack of ruthlessness was punished at the beginning of the third.

Joe Allen netted an individual goal to make it 3-0 before Joseph Johnston, who had played a hand in Fisher’s opener, fired home a fourth.

Five minutes from the end – and obviously feeling the loss of their player-coach – the Devils conceded a fifth when Fisher teed up Nick Chinn.

The south-coast side managed a late consolation as Mitch Murray and Circenis laid the puck on for Richard Brown.

But it was too little, too late as the game ended 5-1.

The Devils remained eighth in the table with title favourites Chelmsford Chieftains arriving at the Gosport Ice Arena on Sunday (7pm).