Streatham Redskins faced two games in as many days as they travelled to Cardiff ENL Devils on Saturday before hosting league leaders Romford Raiders on Sunday evening, writes David Carr.

Both had familiar results for Barry Spours' side though as they lost 8-0 to Cardiff and 5-2 to Romford, and remain bottom of the league.

The Londoners made the long trip to the Welsh capital fully aware that the resident Devils boasted formidable record on their own ice. Streatham opted to take Slovak pair Tomas Valko and Peter Molnar with the squad as they aimed to upset the odds.

The first period started brightly for the Redskins as they hustled and harried the Devils and both Valko and Norm Pinnington both went close, only to be denied by Devils goalie Luke Takel. A slashing call on Andy Cox gave the Devils a power play with five minutes gone and Jordan Powell diverted a James Preece pass past Redskins goalie Stefan Nubert to open the scoring.

The game went from one end to the other for the rest of the period with Nubert the slightly busier of the two goalies.

Streatham came out in the second looking to draw level but were undone by a string of minor penalties as referee Rene Ross attempted to stamp his mark on the game. This worked to Cardiff’s advantage as they scored another goal on the power play thanks to Chris Jones.

Liam Rasmussen’s big hit on Chris Hart sent the Cardiff player into the boards at an odd angle and with the Devils man down injured as a result; Ross ejected Rasmussen from the game with a controversial boarding call.

This left the Redskins the unenviable task of killing another five minute Cardiff power play, and the home side wasted no time taking advantage as Jamie Hayes slapped the puck past Nubert to make it 3-0.

Cardiff had time for one more goal before the end of the period as Hayes got his second thanks to some sloppy Streatham defending with one minute remaining in the second.

Another penalty on Streatham at the start of the third period set the tone and Cardiff scored again to put the game out of the visitors reach.

A minute later, things finally boiled over as both benches exchanged words as Redskins players Stewart Tait and Warren Rost tangled with Devils players Cameron Birrell and Ross Wilkinson, and then Wilkinson finally got the bout with Pinnington he had been requesting since the first period as the two broke away from the main group of players. Pinnington won his fight convincingly but the bad blood between the two sides continued even after the players had taken their seats in the penalty box.

Once things returned to normal Cardiff hit three more goals, of which two were unsurprisingly power play efforts thanks to the sticks of Jason Stone, Jordan Powell and Hayes with his hat trick.

There was room for one last scrap as Tait and Birrell tangled in the corner and traded punches right on the final buzzer.

On Sunday, Streatham knew things were not going to get any easier as they entertained a Romford side currently topping the league and looking every inch title winners.

Redskins Coach Barry Spours shuffled his pack bring in Will Sanderson for Nubert between the pipes and switching Molnar for fellow Slovak Jerry Pavlus. Captain Ed Koral was ruled out pre game thanks to a shoulder injury picked up the night before.

Unlike the previous evening where Streatham struggled to compete, this game started differently despite the visitors enjoying the bulk of possession from the opening face off.

A familiar lack of any kind of luck dogged the Redskins yet again as Romford defenseman Andrius Kaminskas was given time and space thanks to the linesman cutting into, and blocking the chasing Redskin Luke Reynolds, and the puck was played across to Anthony Leone who finished smartly at the back post.

The home support was further incensed as Shaun Yardley escaped punishment from Ross after an awful hit from behind into the boards that left Valko strewn on the ice. It was a sign of things to come as both teams upped the physical game as tensions rose.

Romford hit a second rather fortuitously as a shot from McGrath on the point was diverted past Sanderson by a nick of Tom Davis’s stick despite the attentions of Tait.

If the first period had been bad tempered, the second saw both sides trying to play hockey. Romford started to make some neat passing plays with Matt Turner and AJ Smith both looking dangerous, but it was the familiar name of Juraj Huska as his faked shot grounded the sole Redskins defenseman and he then stepped inside and picked his spot down into Sanderson’s bottom right corner.

At 3-0 down Streatham could have rolled over but they hit back with a well worked goal that saw a scramble in front of Michael Gray’s net allow the puck to fall to Stevie Balmer and he showed great composure to fire past the stranded Raiders goalie.

Streatham had their tails up and ten minutes later they scored again with a well worked powerplay goal that allowed Gennadi Yufit all the time in the world to fire home unmarked at the back post thanks to an inch perfect pass from Valko.

Romford looked vulnerable and Streatham were piling forward and then all momentum was lost, thanks to a stray puck that went over the glass and struck a fan. Referee Ross opted to stop the period with three minutes left and both teams returned to the locker rooms whilst the ice was resurfaced and the fan attended to by medics.

Sure enough, the break allowed Romford to compose themselves and they started the extended period the strongest. Turner released Leone down the left wing and the former Invicta man tried his luck from on the goal line in the far left hand corner of the rink, and his wrist shot somehow squeezed through Sanderson’s body and into the net.

It was a cruel blow to the home side but the flattened atmosphere didn’t last long. Pinnington’s clumsy hit on Kaminskas into the boards raised tensions and when Valko avenged his earlier head first trip into the boards with a similar punishment to one of the Romford forwards, all hell broke loose with Adam Mahoney and Romford’s Smith squaring off and then Kaminskas coming from nowhere to blindside Valko with a punch to the head.

Redskins’ player Dan Botting left the bench to follow Kaminskas and he was followed by McGrath who also left the bench and the two squared off in the middle of the ice. McGrath landed a big early blow but the less fancied Botting caught him with a return and got the take down to everyone’s surprise and a big reception from the Redskins faithful.

With Kaminskas, Valko and McGrath all sent to the showers, the game settled down and Romford had a number of good chances to extend their lead as the dogged Redskins defence did its best to repel them. Sanderson made a couple of outstanding saves to keep his team in it, including a big glove save from Marshall.

The fifth goal finally came with fifteen seconds left as Yardley and Marshall combined with the latter scoring an excellent goal to round off an exciting night of hockey at Brixton ice rink.

The fan who was hit by the puck is reportedly fine and JJ Pitchley was awarded man of the match for Romford with Sanderson picking it up for Streatham.

Streatham now take on Invicta this coming Saturday with a 4.30 face off.