It was a mixed weekend for Spartans starting with a gutsy & gritty 6-4 win over Billingham Stars at Ice Sheffield. A short benched Spartans started positively but found themselves a goal down after Dennis Bostrum scored on 3.21. It could have quite easily been 2-0 at it not been for a great double save from Brandon Stones with Stars in control but Spartans positivity continued to see them eventually gain the upper hand as Stars may have been guilty of sitting back a little. After a couple of excellent chances to put a score on the board Spartans eventually found the net through Martin Finkes on 13.05 & Elliott Knell squeezing one in on 18.29 to see Spartans go into the period break 2-1 to the good.
It was all square however at the end of the second with Stars the better of the two teams in the period. They upped the tempo from the off which brought about an equaliser through Dennis Bostrum timed 23.16 with a sense of predictability about it. In a stop start period, thanks to some strange calls from the referee on both teams as well as some missed ones of which Stars arguably came of worst, Stars seemed more bullish but Spartans still posed a threat and pushed Billingham on the counter which paid dividends when Scott Morris took his chance on 34.38 to make it 3-2.. With the clock ticking down and Spartans in control they gifted an equaliser to Stars after giving away possession whilst under no pressure to do so to allow Michael Elder what was in essence a formality with 27 seconds left on the clock.
With a few choice words ringing in their ears from Coach Martin White, Spartans regained the lead in 15 seconds through Stuart Brittle. Initially it was a close period but Spartans once again gained the upper hand as the period progressed despite an equalising goal from Ritchie Thornton on 52.27. An inspirational performance between the pipes from Star netminder was thwarting Spartans attempts but he was eventually undone with goals from Stuart Brittle on 54.08 & Chris Wilcox on 58.31 to see Spartans deservedly in the end take the points with a 6-4 win.
Sunday night in Blackburn against the Hawks was a different matter however with Spartans bench further reduced with the loss of Ross Jordan & Stuart Brittle missing due to injuries from the previous night’s game against Billingham. In what is a difficult task with a full bench, let alone a short one, Hawks put in a polished all round team performance to see Spartans off with a 9-0 score line.
However, Spartans did have their moments and at times made Hawks work hard but the 89-30 shot on goal tally says it all really. Even though only one goal down, which was scored by Chris Arnone, Spartans were arguably out of sight by the end of the second although it was still only 4-0 with Bentham, Arnone & Pollitt scoring for Hawks. If there was any languishing doubt it was extinguished in the final period with Meikle, Bentham, Arnone and a couple from Simister finishing the rout.
Spartans get the early chance of revenge for that 9-0 loss against the Hawks who are the opposition for our next home game on Saturday 10th October facing off at 1.30pm.