Following defeats in two tough away games the previous weekend, Bracknell Bees returned to winning ways with a comfortable 5-1 victory over Invicta Dynamos on Saturday, writes Dave Wright.

The outcome was totally predictable as the visitors arrived at the Hive bottom-of-the-table with only one win in 20 games and naming just 13 players compared to their hosts’ 19-strong squad that was missing skipper Joe Baird due to injury.

As a result, Bees never had to move into top gear to control the game and it certainly didn’t make for the most exciting of contests.

The opening goal came just before the sixth-minute mark with Aidan Doughty finishing off a move engineered by Zach Milton and Roman Malinik, the latter providing a constant threat to the visitors’ defence.

The Czech was also involved in the second goal, netted by Stuart Mogg on power play in the 19th minute, just 13 seconds after former Bees skipper Matt Foord had been sent to the sin-bin for a hooking offence.

The Berkshire Cycles sponsored side continued to dominate the game, but late in the opening period were caught out by a swift counter-attack that led to Tony Leone pulling a goal back, with the assists coming from Foord and Brandon Miles, and giving the success-starved Invicta travelling supporters something to cheer.

The game was held up for 10 minutes due to a malfunction of the clock on the electronic scoreboard, but no sooner had play resumed than Malinik restored his side’s two-goal advantage in the 45th minute.

Ben Paynter added the fourth on 52:21 and that was quickly followed by the fifth, with Malinik getting his second goal of the evening with Harvey Stead and Doughty providing the assists.

Malinik earned the man-of-the-match vote for the third time in succession, with Foord getting the Dynamos award, although netminder Conor Morris deserving an honourable mention, as he made numerous excellent saves from the 38 shots he faced in total.

Bracknell stayed well disciplined, conceding only six penalty minutes, but that was certainly not the case in Sunday’s 4-2 defeat against Raiders in Romford.

And the penalty minutes, of which there were 39 in total, proved costly as they were short-handed when Raiders hit back through Jake Pitchley (33:46) and Aaron Connolly (38:46) after Paynter and Shaun Thompson had put Bees two goals up with 13 minutes on the clock, both players assisting in the other’s goal.

In the first period Bees won the shot count 20-7 with only the post preventing James Galazzi increasing his side’s advantage.

Blahoslav Novak fired the hosts ahead in the 47th minute and shortly afterwards Bees saw Josh Martin and Ryan Watt involved in fighting and roughing incidents, with the latter being thrown out of the game.

A late gamble, which saw netminder Danny Milton withdrawn, failed to pay off, as Ashley Jackson slotted into an empty net for his side’s fourth goal with 50 seconds remaining.

In all, Raiders had 34 shots on target, compared to Bees’ 52.

Thompson, with a goal and an assist, was voted his side’s man of the match.

Doug Sheppard’s men remain third the table with 29 points from 22 matches, having played more fixtures than the sides above them, Peterborough and Swindon.

They should add two more points to their tally when they play Invicta again next Sunday (5.15pm push-back) this time in Gillingham, where they have already won this season. Bees have no home game this weekend.