SCOTT Spearing made a welcome return to the ice for Bracknell Bees at Streatham on Saturday, but could not prevent his team from losing 7-4.

The player-coach, who has been sidelined since early November due to a head injury, was voted his side's best player after a feisty encounter that saw both teams have a man ejected from the game following separate incidents.

Unfortunately for the Bees, they were left a man short after just five minutes when Carl Graham was thrown out for a slashing offence, although the punishment seemed somewhat harsh.

The defenceman had been called up to assist a side missing Carl Thompson, Shaun Thompson, Harvey Stead, Josh Tetlow, Danny Ingoldsby and Tom Avery.

Soon after Graham's departure which even further depleted their D-line, James Galazzi was the first Bee to drop his gloves to slug it out with Ryan Watt and then the visitors were penalised for having too many men on the ice.

Unlike earlier in the match, they were unable to kill off power-play and paid the penalty with Ryan Webb opening the scoring after 14 minutes.

Michael Farn provided the assist, as he did with the second goal netted by captain Adam Carr from a breakaway just after the 17th-minute mark.

The Redhawks made it 3-0 through Andreas Siagris with another power-play goal in the 25th minute and four minutes later Jacob Ranson.

Bees pulled one back through Galazzi and, after Dan Rose had added to Streatham's tally, Jan Bendik made it 5-2 on the power-play late in the second period.

Just 21 seconds after the break, it was 6-2 with Carr getting his second goal of the game. But in the same minute, Frankie Bakrlik got on the scoresheet and Bracknell's leading scorer reduced the deficit even further with 10 minutes remaining, Ben Ealey-Newman providing an assist on both occasions.

However, more penalties left Bracknell short and Redhawks notched another power-play goal through Watt to seal a 7-4 victory.

The scoring may have been completed, but the fisticuffs continued with Streatham's former Bees forward Ben Paynter being thrown out of the game three minutes from time.

Bracknell were far from happy with referee Richard Bellfitt's handling of the game.

On one occasion, Josh Martin was left bleeding after being struck on his head in a challenge by Watt and it looked a straight-forward penalty offence, but the official decided otherwise.

“The ref was not great,” commented skipper Foord.“Almost every time we touched one of their players we were penalised, but they (Streatham) could do anything they wanted.

In all, there was a total of 100 penalty minutes dished out with 59 of them against Bracknell, including 12 minutes for net-minder Alex Mettam at the end of the game.

Mettam had every reason to complain as the Redskins were looking to crowd him out all game, and he received very little protection from the referee.

“It was a tough and long night for us,” added Foord.

Bees have now lost four league games in a row – nine in all competitions – but stay fourth in the Division 1 South standings ahead of their visit to leaders Basingstoke Bison on Saturday (6.30pm face-off).

There is an in-house affair at the Hive on Wednesday of next week (6pm) with the Bees and Hornets facing each other in a charity match for Orchid Cancer.