BRACKNELL Bees must have been pleased to see the end of January, writes Dave Wright.

During the month they lost seven of their eight games, including the last four, leaving them second-from-bottom in the National League standings.

On Saturday they slipped to a 6-5 defeat away to Raiders, the side immediately above them in the table, followed by a 4-1 reverse at Hull on Sunday.

After an 18-shot goalless first period, the TSI World-sponsored side took the lead at Romford through Caly Robertson at 23.33.

However, Jake Sylvester equalised at 25.42 and Ollie Baldock put the home team ahead on 28.30 before Ryan Webb (31.28), Brendan Baird (34.54) and Dominik Gabaj (35.55) gave the Bees a 4-2 lead, which was reduced by Brandon Ayliffe shortly before the end of the seven-goal second period.

Ayliffe brought the scores level at 43.14 and five seconds later Aaron Connolly restored the lead for the Raiders.

Connolly followed up at 51.51 with a powerplay goal, which proved decisive as Gabaj –- his side's man-of-the-match – added a fifth for Bees in the 54th minute.

The visitors fought hard in a bid to get another goal, but the Raiders managed to hold out for a valuable win over their fellow strugglers.

In total, Bracknell had 37 attempts at goal, one fewer than their rivals.

The following night, however, Doug Sheppard's side managed to find the net only once in 27 attempts against Hull.

Jason Hewitt put the Pirates ahead on the powerplay at 7.13 with Matty Davies extending the lead at 26.31, before Robertson pulled one back with 1.24 left in the middle period.

Hewitt, with his second of the game, and David Norris netted in final eight minutes of the game to put the seal on another disappointing weekend for the John Nike Stadium club.

Netminder Danny Milton was named their man-of-the-match.

Josh Ealey-Newman missed both games last weekend after being suspended by the NIHL.

It follows the match penalty he received for his obscene gesture in the 8-2 defeat at Basingstoke on January 18.

The Bees forward was originally suspended for two games with five penalty points added to his record, but as this took him past 10 penalty points, he received an additional two games.

He will complete his suspension this Saturday – when Bees visit Swindon (6.15) – but will be available for Sunday's home fixture with Basingstoke (5.30pm)

Bees were also fined for reaching 40 penalty points.

Hull's Lee Bonner, who picked up a match penalty for slew-footing in their recent win at Bracknell, received a three-game ban from the NIHL.