Missed chances cost Bracknell Bees in derbyBy Adam Lee
January 25, 2012
Bracknell Bees coach Gareth Cox has called on his players to show more conviction in front of goal after a bitterly disappointing 4-3 defeat to Slough Jets on Sunday.
Sunday night’s showdown at the Hive was the only game for both teams at the weekend after Saturday’s game in Slough was postponed due to issues with the ice.
It was always going to be a tough encounter for Bees, with Jets among the potential EPIHL title contenders.
However, Cox’s team were more than a match for Slough, outshooting them in every period.
But with top scorer Lukas Smital still out of action with an upper body injury, Bees were certainly lacking in attack, and simply weren’t as clinical as their Berkshire rivals.
Trailing 3-1, Bees fought back brilliantly as goals from Bradley Watchorn and Matt Foord brought the game level.
However, as Bees were preparing a final onslaught on the Slough goal, ex-Bracknell forward Joe Greener powered home the winner for the visitors.
It was a bitter pill to swallow for Cox, who admits his team must sharpen up in front of the net.
“It was a frustraing game, “ he said.
“We had a lot of chances, we made a couple of mistakes and they capatalised on it which hurts.
“I thought we did enough to win the game, but we need to hit the net at crucial times.
“We don’t help ourselves when we make the mistakes we do and take the penalties we do.
We need to learn from those and move on.
“We had enough chances to win the game and although it was nice to see Brad and Fordy get goals, we are gutted we lost. It’s as simple as that.
“We just need to be a bit more clincial in front of goal. We need to make sure we are hitting the net because we had a lot of chances where we should have at least challenged the goalie and made him make the save, but we didn’t do that.
“It’s a confidence thing. That’s hockey and the best players in the world miss the net from time to time. It’s never going to be easy with your top scorer out, but injuries happen, we just have to fight through it.”
Cox, though, believes he has witnessed a change in the team’s mentality during their spell of misfortune with injuries.
The squad has been hit hard this season, but the Bees coach is adamant that the problems have only served to strengthen the bond between the players, and they are showing that on the ice.
And, when British defenceman Carl Graham returns from his broken leg, and Smital makes his comeback, he believes his team will be a force to be reckoned with.
With Smital’s immediate return unlikely, Bees suffered a further blow on Saturday as Scott Spearing was forced off the ice with a knee injury, while captain Rob Lamey recieved a match penalty for apparent abuse directed at the match officials after Sunday’s game.
Bees’ top scoring Brit will now be unavailable for Saturday’s visit of Manchester Phoenix (6pm face-off) although he should be back for Sunday night’s vital trip to Peterborough Phantoms.
Cox said: “With the injuries we’ve had everyone has picked it up and as a team I think we have started to play with more togetherness.
“Hopefully we can continue that when we get all the boys back and that bodes well for us.
“But for the time being I dream of the day when I get everyone fit and not suspended.”
Bracknell Bees 3 Slough Jets 4: Period: 1-2, 0-1, 2-1. SOG: 33-24. PIM: 33-10. Bees: Foord 1+1, Lamey, Watchorn 1+0, Galazzi, Thompson, Bowman, Johnson, Masa 0+1. Jets: Davies, Galazzi 1+1, Kieras, J Greener 1+0, Sheppard 0+2, Watt, Miles, Pliskauskas, Melachrino 0+1.