Wokingham Today

Raiders end Bees’ season

London Raiders 10 Bracknell Bees 7 (on aggregate)


SCOTT SPEARING says defensive errors were to blame for Bracknell’s play-off defeat to London Raiders.

Bees lost 6-5 at The Hive on Saturday evening before suffering a 4-2 reverse in the second leg on Sunday to fall at the first hurdle of the play-offs with a 10-7 aggregate defeat to end their season.

And Spearing, taking charge of his first campaign as head coach, says he knows where the issues are.

“I think there’s clearly a problem if you can’t win a game at home when you score five goals,” he told The Wokingham Paper.

“There were just too many situations where they had odd man rushers coming into our end, two-on-ones and three-ontwos and three-on-ones and we were very weak on Saturday.

“If we were stronger defensivel­y on the Saturday, I think we really should’ve been 5-1 or 5-2 up going into the Sunday.

“I think the forwards emptied their tanks on the Saturday and that’s why we were only able to get two goals, which would’ve been fine, two goals away from home.

“We could’ve kept it 2-2 and only when we had to start stretching to try and get that lead was when it started opening things up and gave them opportunit­ies to score goals on the Sunday.

“If we kept it at 5-1 or 5-2 on Saturday and were better defensivel­y, we would’ve set-up for Sunday and there wouldn’t have been any problems.

“Once I’ve discussed with (club directors) Carol (Miller) and Stuart (Robinson) for next year, if they want me back, that’s something I’ll definitely be looking at changing.”

Despite peppering the Raiders goal, Bees found themselves 5-3 behind heading into the final period on Saturday.

Goals from Josh Martin, George Norcliffe and Danny Ingoldsby helped Bracknell bounce back from going 2-0 behind to lead 3-2, only to squander the lead again.

Third stanza scores from Shaun Thompson and Callum Best at least kept the tie alive with a 6-5 deficit, but they should have been heading to Romford ahead with a shot count of 46 compared to 23 from the visitors.

Bracknell levelled the tie at 7-7 overall on Sunday with Martin and James Galazzi on target, but Raiders scored twice in the third to take the game away from the Bees.

“The forwards did everything I asked of them,” said Spearing.

“Defensivel­y we made a lot of mistakes which caused situations where you can only expect a goal from the opposition and that’s not good enough in the play-offs.

“You can’t put yourself in those situations, especially at home.

“You have to be solid at home.

I think it was definitely down to individual errors.

“I think some players were maybe a bit excited and were trying to work a bit too hard in situations and that caused the mistakes, but it’s a learning curve and we just have to learn from it and move on I guess.”

Having only been drafted in to replace Lukas Smital in May, Spearing had to assemble a brand new squad following Bracknell’s move in the National League.

But if he is handed another season in charge, the player-coach will at least have a bit more time to begin building his side for the 2018/19 campaign.

“It was my first year and there’s a lot of things I’ve learnt and it’s not instant,” said Spearing.

“Unless you’ve got a huge budget, you can’t just walk in and bring whatever players you want in.

“There’s a lot of recruitmen­t that goes on behind the scenes in the summer.”

He added: “Last year the recruitmen­t was quite delayed whereas other teams were already recruiting.

“So hopefully I’ve got a bit of a headstart this year and I can start recruiting a bit earlier.

“I know the protocols and the process of getting guys in and stuff like that now so I’ve already spoken to a lot of guys from last year so I’ve still got all their contact details and I can try and speak to them as soon as possible really.”

 ?? Pictures: Kevin Slyfield ?? Bracknell Bees’ season has come crashing to an endd
Pictures: Kevin Slyfield Bracknell Bees’ season has come crashing to an endd
 ??  ?? Scott Spearing gets stuck in
Scott Spearing gets stuck in

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