Bees ready for new season
BRACKNELL BEES rounded off their preseason preparations with a pair of wins over Romford Raiders.
Facing the side who defeated them in the play-offs last year, Bees cruised to a 5-2 away win on Saturday thanks to goals from James Galazzi, Aidan Doughty, Shaun Thompson, Ben Paynter and Scott Spearing.
And they followed that up with a
6-3 victory at The Hive on Sunday as Doughty (2), Roman Malinik, Brendan Baird, Josh Smith and Vanya Antonov all found the net.
Those wins followed up two defeats against Swindon Wildcats the previous weekend in what were head coach
Doug Sheppard’s first games in charge following his switch from Basingstoke Bison.
But the main focus will be on this weekend as the NIHL campaign begins with a home match against Romford on Saturday (6pm) before a trip to Invicta Dynamos on Sunday (5.15pm).
“We were pretty fortunate to have two weeks of pre-season,” Sheppard told The Wokingham Paper.
“Everything’s new to myself and a lot of the players as well so it was good to get two weeks of pre-season.
“Everything has been targeted to gear up for this weekend.
“I did see a lot of positives throughout the pre-season, certainly from week to week.
“It’s early days and we could tidy certain things up with aspects of our game. It’s early days and we’re looking to improve each training session, each game.
“But the most important thing to me is I was happy with everybody’s work ethic.
“I thought we worked extremely hard throughout the pre-season games.”
Bees got off to a flying start on Saturday, racing into a 3-1 lead by the end of the first period as Thompson, Doughty and Galazzi goals cancelled out Oliver Baldock’s effort on the powerplay.
Spearing and JJ Pitchley traded blows in the second, but Paynter opened up a three-goal cushion at 5-2 heading into the third, which passed goalless.
It took even less time for Bracknell to get ahead on Sunday with new recruit Antonov firing them in front after only 21 seconds.
Doughty doubled the advantage before Baird made it 3-0 less than two minutes into the second period.
That sparked a goal crazy spell as Malinik, Smith and Doughty all netted for the hosts while Dan Scott found the net for Romford as the score moved to 6-2.
Captain Aaron Connolly bagged a consolation for the Raiders in the third, but Bees ran out victorious.
n For a full interview from Sheppard, see the back page.
Brendan Baird and Ryan Sutton lead the celebrations
Bees go for goal
Aidan Doughty was named man-of-the-match
Bracknell Bees with Mayor of Bracknell Sandra Ingham
Josh Smith winds one up