Wightlink Raiders 5-6 Streatham Redskins
Joe Johnston praised his Streatham Redskins teammates’ discipline as they won at Wightlink Raiders for the first time in 22 years on Sunday.
Dom Hopkins gave the Redskins a 3-2 lead at the first break after Callum Best and Adam Wood had seen their goals cancelled out by Jaroslav Cesky and Steve Balmer.
Goals from Craig Tribe and Alex Barker for Wightlink, and one for Michal Oravec for the Redskins made it 4-4 heading into the third period, before Sean Scarborough and Steve Fisher secured the result, despite Richard Facey’s late effort.
Warren Rost’s side have now won eight of 11 league fixtures, putting them level on points with the Chelmsford Chieftains at the top of the table.
And Redskins skipper Johnston emphasised the importance of discipline following last week’s 7-4 loss to the Chieftains.
“Just going through the history books, we’ve never won at Wightlink so I think that tells you a little bit about what we’ve achieved,” he said.
“We played with discipline. It’s been something that we’ve looked at.
“If we can stay out of the penalty box we can match any team.
“Giving away penalty minutes is a massive area that we’ve tried to improve and against Wightlink it was excellent all round.”
Johnston commended his side’s persistence, having conceded the lead three times and seen Brandon Miles miss a penalty shot late in the second period.
“Warren has always got an idea of how we need to play and how to win,” Johnston added.
“Even if we’re losing we try to play with the same philosophy and it will click into place.”
Johnston acknowledged the Redskins might be considered as a dark horse for the league, but the veteran was keen to keep a lid on expectations.
He said: “I don’t think many people were giving us a chance but we’ve been keeping it together and believing in ourselves.
“Now some people are thinking Streatham are potentially the real deal this year and could be challenging.
“But it’s early November and there’s a lot of hockey still to be played.
“But if we’re still there in two months, and we’re playing how we are, then you never know what could happen.”
Feature image of Joe Johnston courtesy of Rick Webb, with thanks