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Match report: Cardiff Fire 1 - 5 Bracknell Bees

posted 5 Feb 2018, 22:10 by john slater   [ updated 8 Feb 2018, 00:07 ]

Match report by Ashley Willitt

Sunday afternoon saw the Bees head all the way along the M4 to the east to take on bottom of the table Cardiff Fire. Following on from the previous night’s victory, the Bees were hoping to add to that with a win in the Welsh capital. To do that they faced a Fire team without a point all season, but with GB under 20 net-minder Jordan Lawday as a solid force in between the pipes.

The Bees went with the ever smiling Danny Milton in goal and refereeing the tie was Tim Picket with Elliot Marshall and Chris Edwards on the lines.

Missing the game was Frankie Bakrlik due to suspension after an accumulation of penalty points, Callum Best and Josh Tetlow. Ben Ealey-Newman is now a consistent part of the Bees squad and a welcome one at that, adding skill, intensity and a desire that is sure to rub off on the rest of the team as the season reaches its climax.

The first period was fairly tentative from Bracknell, despite dominating possession and shots it had an end to end feel as constant Bees pressure left them open to the counter attack from the speedy Fire forward line. With Lawday being kept busy early on Milton was something of a spectator at the other end of the ice. However Tamás Éliás burst through the Bees defence and woke Milton up bringing out a big glove save. The pressure to the Fire net was too much with Danny Ingoldsby providing a lovely pass to Ben Ealey-Newman who deked his way passed the defence and took on Lawday, out waited him and finished the move off with a beautiful finish. As the period went on Lawday was kept very busy, with Jan Bendik and Carl Thompson coming close, but the young goalie was equal to everything coming his way, making it look easy at times.

With just the one goal on the board, the Bees were not taking anything for granted against a determined Cardiff side. In players like Éliás and Morgan Evans, the Fire have some really talent on their squad with the latter bringing out two big saves from Milton. Eventually Bracknell doubled their lead on 27 minutes after a Bendik slap-shot was pad saved, but the defence couldn't get it clear and James Galazzi put in the rebound. Just moments later and the home team were on the board through Jackson Price with a wonderful solo goal, cutting inside the defence from the left and finding a small gap high to the blocker side of Milton. With Carl Thompson endlessly back checking, Ben Ealey-Newman looking hungry in every shift and several other players working tirelessly the Bees looked like a team once again. Deep into the period and both goalies were putting on a clinic, with Lawday in the Cardiff net making several phenomenal saves and Milton not to be outdone, stopping a couple of good Fire chances.

Into the final period and the Bees work ethic and conditioning came into effect with Galazzi rifling home a third goal on 43 minutes. Cardiff's spirit never broke and were often dangerous on the counter attack, but the solid defending of Bendik and Captain Matt Foord prevented anything serious coming of it. Despite several big hits between Elis Sheppard and Scott Spearing the Bees held firm and didn't lose their cool. A fourth goal was upcoming after Shaun Thompson kept on at a loose puck in front of the Fire goal mouth. With little help from his defence, Lawday was unable to keep the puck from going in as the Bees top British scorer slid the puck under the body of the Cardiff goal-tender. Bracknell finished off the night with a wonderful strike by Bendik after some lovely stick-work by Ingoldsby behind the net.

In the end it was a comfortable victory for the Bees, who will look to build on this when they will face a much tougher test against Peterborough and Swindon next weekend.

Match stats
Period Scores: 0-1; 1-1; 0-3
Fire scorers: Price 1+0
Bees scorers: Galazzi 2+0; Bendik 1+1; S.Thompson & B.Ealey-Newman 1+0; Ingoldsby 0+3; Jackson, Stead, Barker, Martin & C.Thompson 0+1
Fire PIMS: 16 (Wilkinson 12; Sheppard 4)
Bees PIMS: 2 (Foord 2)
Shots on Fire (Lawday): 54 (19, 16, 19)
Shots on Bees (Milton): 25 (11, 8, 6)