Bees ready for new sea­son

The Wokingham Paper - - SPORT - By TOM CROCKER tcrocker@wok­ing­ham­pa­

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.

Pic­tures: Kevin Sly­field

Bren­dan Baird and Ryan Sut­ton lead the cel­e­bra­tions

Tem­pers flared

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

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