Change of system pays off for Pitbulls
BRISTOL Pitbulls secured their first win of the season, at the seventh attempt, with a 5-1 victory away to Chelmsford Warriors in NationalLeague South.
Player-coach Richie Hargreaves' new system worked wonders as the Pitbulls outfought the Warriors last Saturday. An away trip to a side with four wins out of seven appeared a daunting prospect, but goals from Shannon Taylor and Janne Virtanen put the Pitbulls into a 2-0 lead in the first period.
The same combination were on target again in the second period as Bristol held a 4-0 lead going into the final 20 minutes.
A goal from the Warriors' Gary Brown in the 47th minute tested the Pitbulls' resolve, but Adrian Smith settled matters in the closing stages to secure a morale-boosting victory.
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Hargreaves admitted a six-game run without a win had forced him to reconsider his tactical approach for the Chelmsford fixture and the change had the desired effect.
He said: "We'd been struggling to play in our own end, struggling massively to be in control of the puck. We've changed our system to be man-on-man and the guys have adapted to that much easier.
"The difference between losing 10-5 and winning 5-1 in the space of two weeks isn't because they got better. It's because they used a system better."
Getting the players to perform with the right attitude is also important and Hargreaves praised the efforts of his players.
He said: "From the get-go, the guys looked like they wanted to be there. We made Chelmsford make the mistakes by filling the lanes and making them cough up the puck.
"In recent weeks, it's been us making those mistakes. But, this week, we were able to jump on their mistakes."
"The change to the system also contributed to a change of mentality. "You'd have thought that beating a team at the other end of the table would have meant a lot to the guys, but, in the dressing room after the game, it was so casual. It was as if it didn't matter where they were in the standings, we were going to win."
The Pitbulls don't play again until December 16.