Streatham player-coach Michael Farn was forced to shuffle his squad last weekend, as his depleted RedHawks side took three points from an available four, writes David Carr.
The South London side are effectively playing dead rubber fixtures having sealed the league title a few weeks ago but still have three more games before the play-offs begin.
Streatham beat second-placed Slough Jets 3-1 in Berkshire on Saturday thanks to a hat-trick from Brandon Miles. Icing just 12 players, Farn acknowledged that it took a real workmanlike performance to take the win.
“Weve been calling up a number of youngsters from the development Black Hawks side in recent weeks,” he said. “But they had their final game so we thought it would be better if they played there, and join up with us Sunday instead. We were really short.
“I was really pleased for Brandon getting his hat-trick. He gets a lot of criticism as he plays a physical game, but he has a knack of scoring and I was pleased that he stepped up into that role perfectly.”
Streatham dropped a point against a youthful Romford side, who have tested the Red Hawks across the season despite their mid-table league standing, on Sunday.
Streatham thought they had won the game after Ben Ealey-Newman scored with just seconds remaining before a last-gasp equaliser took the game to overtime, where Romford sealed victory thanks to a Tom Wilson effort.
The hosts outshot their opponents 36-7 over the 60 minutes.
“Sunday started really slow” said Farn. “We got some of the juniors back and gave them plenty of ice time, while shuffling the senior players about, to the extent where I played as a forward for the first time this year.
“We had two 16-year-olds playing as part of a four-man defence, with Jack Hoppes and Preston Tombs doing themselves proud. Both goalies stood tall, but penalties cost us and it came back to haunt us at the end. We’ve seen games like that out at times this season and credit to them for taking the chances that came their way.”
Streatham travel to Milton Keynes Thunder on Sunday evening.