Callum’s back to his Best as Streatham Redskins convincingly beat Cardiff Devils in weekend double header

Callum Best had a hand in four of Streatham Redskins’ six goals as they came from behind on Saturday night to record a comfortable 6-2 victory over Cardiff NIHL Devils.

Two goals in quick succession from Cardiff’s Jonathan Nash handed the visitors the lead after Joe Johnston’s opener, but Streatham equalised through Best before the second 20 was out.

In a one-sided final period the Redskins scored four unanswered goals as Nicky Chinn, Dom Hopkins and Best all struck before Evander Grinnell completed the rout when Lee Duance was dismissed from the ice.

“I think we were always in control. I don’t want to say that the result was never in doubt but even when they went 2-1 up I still felt we were pretty comfortable and had enough to win,” said Johnston, whose team then won the reverse fixture in Cardiff 9-2 on Sunday night.

“The third period was really good and they hardly got a look in. I think they ran out of steam a little bit and at the same time as well we maybe found our stride.

“People probably expected us to beat this team because of the league positions but they’re not a terrible team, they worked really hard until the end and gave us a decent game.”

After the veteran forward opened the scoring with a fifth minute tap-in, the hosts’ dominated possession and were rarely troubled by a youthful Cardiff team who were largely kept at bay.

That was until the 35th minute when against the run of play Nash slipped in a power-play goal and then repeated that success with an almost identical effort three minutes later.

Despite trailing 2-1 Streatham remained composed and maintained their steady approach which paid off when Best tipped the game back into their favour moments later.

As the second period drew to a close Best levelled the match by firing the puck high into the right-hand side of goal, beginning a string of match deciding contributions from the free-scoring forward.

Setting-up Chinn to restore Streatham’s lead just 12 seconds into the final period, Best then played in Dom Hopkins whose thunderous slap-shot from the edge of the attacking-zone put the game beyond Cardiff.

A solo goal doubled Best’s tally for the night. Skating past two Devils defenders he rounded David Crisp in goal and tapped in to sink the opposition who by this point seemed to have turned their thoughts towards their journey home.

Duance’s sending off for a nasty check to the head of Jack Tarczycki left Cardiff shorthanded for the remainder of the match and two minutes from time Grinnell tipped in Kamil Kinkor’s goal-bound effort to complete the scoring.

Best’s notable contributions rewarded him with the man of the match award for Streatham, who has been in imperious form since returning to the club from a disappointing spell at Guildford flames.

“I’ve had a few weeks off so struggled a bit with pace and didn’t play last week because of illness but it’s always nice to score and getting two points was the most important thing,” said Best.

“I gave it a chance at Guildford Flames but it didn’t work out so I was always going to come back here.  I love the fans, love the boys, and I play well here so it was a no-brainer to come back.”

Streatham sealed a four-point weekend winning the reverse fixture at Cardiff 9-3 on Sunday night.

Feature image of Callum Best, right, courtesy of Rick Webb, with thanks

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