THE absence of six players proved too much for Bracknell Bees as they lost 2-1 to Streatham at The Hive on Sunday, writes Dave Wright.

Ryan Watt, Baird brothers Joe and Brendan and Ben Paynter were all suspended, while Vanya Antonov is in Russia with the GB Universities squad and Josh Martin wasn't available.

Luke Jackson was brought in from the Hornets to give the team their fourth defender.

Coach Doug Sheppard was serving the last of his two-match ban, but did watch the game from the stands and commented:

"I think we were a bit unlucky as we certainly had enough chances to win it, although they (Streatham) had a couple of their own.

"When you are short you need every single guy going, but I thought maybe there was a bit more to give from a couple. But overall it was a good effort being as short as we were for the second game in a row."

Bees outshot the Redhawks by a wide margin of 40-18, but a combination of wayward finishing and excellent goalkeeping by Damien King restricted them to just the one goal scored by Shaun Thompson.

The shots total was 12-2 in the opening period, yet the hosts still found themselves trailing. They had James Galazzi in the sin-bin when the visitors took advantage of the power-play to score through Jacob Ranson at 12:13 with a shot from distance that powered into the bottom right-hand corner.

Alex Roberts could have increased their lead when one-on-one with Dean Skinns, but the goalie deflected his shot away, while shortly afterwards Tyler Vankleef missed a similar opportunity for Bees.

In the second period, the Canadian again went close to equalising from a breakaway, but Skinns denied Adam Wood and Roberts shot wide with only the netminder to beat.

Roberts, however, didn't waste his next opportunity, being left unmarked and having time to pick his spot past Skinns to make it 2-0 at 35:52.

Galazzi was the next to miss a one-on-one situation shortly before the second interval, adding to Bracknell's frustrations.

They pushed hard to get back in the game, but it wasn't until they were on their fourth power-play of the match when they finally found the net. Thompson combined nicely with Vankleef to give himself space to fire past King, comfortably the London club's man of the match.

Bees, who had won 5-1 at Streatham in January, fought hard for the equaliser, but in pushing forwards they left themselves exposed at the back and if it had not been for Skinns' brilliance the visitors would have increased their lead late in the game.

The keeper looked a good bet for his side's man-of-the-match award, but was pipped by Stuart Mogg.

It was Bracknell's fourth home defeat in their last five league and cup matches, a run which started with a 6-2 reverse at the hands of Basingstoke, and it is the same club who will be occupying the visitors' dressing room this coming Sunday (6pm).

The two sides also meet on the Bison's ice on Saturday (6.30pm) with one place and three points currently separating them in the table.