Tuesday 25 March 2014

South 2 Cup Report: Chelmsford Warriors 4 - Haringey Racers 3

The CVS Haringey Racers bowed out of the NIHL cup after a heartbreaking 4-3 loss to the Chelmsford Warriors at the Riverside last Saturday.

With the league out of their hands and all but over the cup was Haringey's last chance to bag some silverware in their first season, and they were favourites to at least make it out of the group stage and into the finals weekend as they headed into their final group game at Chelmsford at the weekend.

Having been shocked by the Warriors twice already this season, with an unpredicted loss and draw, so it proved again on Saturday when the Warriors jumped out to an early lead in the fourth minute thanks to Sebastian Downing. Nathan Long then doubled the hosts' lead five minutes later and the Racers went into the first break trailing 2-0.

Haringey rallied and pulled one back in the second period when Matt Brown was set up by former Warrior Ricky Mills at the halfway point of the game and Sam Roberts then pulled them level two minutes into the final period when he was teed up by another former Warrior, Perry Whitlock, and top scorer Drew Campbell.

The Racers had the momentum and took the lead in the 53rd minute when Campbell again set up Roberts, but Haringey's joy was short lived as Lewis Jone pulled Chelmsford level less than a minute later.

Tempers and nerves frayed on both sides in the desperate final minutes but a familiar theme emerged as the Racers found themselves short a man for the last two minutes and were made to pay for it yet again when Bailey Chittock scored on the powerplay and shattered Haringey's dreams of silverware for the season.

Coach Dan Sampson says: "To be honest i am gutted, we all are.  To be the better team all night and not win is hard to take. I feel we were hard done by with the calls made (by the referee). If we look at the bigger picture we have achieved so much this year with the big crowds ands some good hockey. we are  going to finish the season strong and I believe we can finish second in the league, which in our first season would still be brilliant."

The Racers will dust themselves off and return to league action on the sixth of April for their penultimate game of the year and their final home game at Alexandra Palace for the season against the struggling Peterborough Islanders."

Sam Park

Photo - Haringey's Sam Roberts by Sam Park