Bracknell Bees got their NIHL South 1 campaign off to a flying start by winning both their games last weekend.

They defeated Romford-based Raiders 6-4 at The Hive on Saturday and then triumphed 3-2 away to Invicta Dynamos on Sunday.

But, while delighted with the four points, new head coach Doug Sheppard says there is still room for improvement from his side.

He must have been concerned about their defending against Raiders, as they threw away a three-goal advantage and in both matches, Bees were outscored in the second period.

Having defeated the same club twice in warm-up games the previous weekend, the Bracknell Cycles sponsored side looked to be heading for a hat-trick of wins when they swept into a three-goal lead.

Shaun Thompson opened the scoring in the eighth minute with Roman Malinik increasing their advantage at 15:49 and 17:05, but their hopes of keeping a clean sheet in the first period ended on 19 minutes with Mason Webster pulling one back for the visitors.

Less than three minutes after the first break, Blahoslav Novak netted a second and Liam Chong lifted the puck high into the net at 25.30 to make it 3-3.

Ten minutes later Bees were back in front thanks to a smartly-taken goal by Vanya Antonov, but it didn’t take long for the Raiders to bring the score back level through Matt Turner.

However, Bracknell finished the stronger with Josh Smith tapping in their fifth goal from a Ryan Sutton pass at 52.49 and with less than two minutes remaining, Antonov netted his second and Bees’ sixth to seal the victory.

Malinik was voted Bees’ man of the match.

Carrying on where they had left off the previous evening, Bracknell scored two quick goals at Gillingham on Sunday with Stuart Mogg netting in the seventh minute and Josh Martin at 13:38.

Martin was again on target after 30 minutes, but within two minutes Grant Bartlett opened the home side’s account and when Ondrej Zosiak made it 3-2 at 34:43 the Dynamos were right back in the game.

Both sides had chances in the third period, but the respective netminders prevented any further scoring.

In all, Bees had 54 shots on goal, 16 more than Invicta. Josh Martin was Bees’ man of the match.

In his summing up of the weekend, Sheppard said: “You’re happy any time you walk away with four points.

“We played four good periods across the weekend but we didn’t have our best performances in the second period in either game and we need to work on that

“I’m really happy with the way we responded, though, especially on Sunday being as short benched as we were. Dean Skinns did a good job and a few guys, who perhaps wouldn’t have expected the ice time they got, stepped up.

“I think as a whole from pre-season to this weekend we were better defensively, but we’re aware there’s plenty of room for improvement.”

Sheppard is hoping that will be shown when Bees host Streatham this Sunday (6pm).