BRACKNELL Bees coach Doug Sheppard is hoping his side can carry last Sunday's form into their crucial encounter with Raiders in Romford this Saturday, writes Dave Wright.

They slammed Sheffield Steeldogs 7-1 with their best 60-minute performance for some time and that will certainly give them a tremendous boost as they prepare for what is now a must-win game.

Bees lost 2-1 in overtime to Raiders last Saturday, leaving them three points behind the side they must overtake if they are to reach the National League play-offs.

After Saturday, both sides will have just three games remaining with Bees travelling to Sheffield on Sunday before finishing with a double-date against Basingstoke Bison the following weekend.

Raiders, who have won their last six matches, have away games with leaders Telford Tigers and tailenders Leeds Chiefs before hosting Swindon Wildcats.

So, on paper, Bees face the tougher programme in the run-up to the play-offs, but Sheppard remains optimistic.

"I was happy with the three points last weekend," he said.

"We have another shot at Raiders and obviously we are going there to win.

"We are playing good hockey at the moment and we had chances to have beaten them on Saturday."

Speaking to the News after Sunday's big win, the coach commented: "l thought we were great from start to finish.

"It was a bit of a soft penalty on Ryan Webb and they (Sheffield) got a fortunate bounce on the powerplay to score first.

"We didn't drop our heads and just kept going. We took our chances and it was good to put a few goals in."

Sheppard, continued: "We will have a good week of practice before having one more shot at Raiders.

"Both teams are playing well. We are two of the most in-form teams in the league so it should be a great game on Saturday.

"We then go to Sheffield on Sunday looking for another win. We need to keep winning games and then see where we are (in the league standings)."

Joe Baird was injured against Raiders and Sheppard says it is unlikely if he will be fit to resume this weekend, but he added: "Luke Jackson jumped in there on Sunday and showed good next-man mentally. He did a heck of a job."