For our first game of the season, Spartans were missing Nick Manning & James Wood but were boosted by Elliott Knell & Luke Unwin stepping up from 18’s. We controlled large parts of the first period & looked well organised against a Nottingham side that was also playing some good hockey and did look slightly more dangerous on the attack. Despite this Spartans took the lead, Shaun Wild scoring a well taken goal on 15.00 assisted Elliott Knell. The defence held firm to lead at the end of the first 1-0.
Nottingham hit straight back on 20.52 to tie it at 1-1, Chris Colegate the scorer. There was not a lot between the teams but Nottingham did look more dangerous on the attack than us & went in front on 27.31, PP goal scored by Michael Rose. It could have been worse, a mistake from Netminder Andy Bagshaw lead to an open net opportunity for the Lions, only for their player to hit it high & wide. That was a let off but it seemed to refocus the Spartans who competed well & deservedly equalised on 35.54 through Callum Rawson, assisted Nathan Britton. It was Spartans that looked more dangerous on the attack now & some pressure paid of as Will Barron scored on 39.35 assisted Ollie Barron & Jon Woolhouse to put the Spartans 3-2 up, which is how the period ended.
Into the third & there was nothing between the teams, both having opportunities to score, chances that really should have been put away however Lions equalised on 48.03, again scored by Chris Colegate, an excellently worked goal & the best goal of the game, this tied it up to 3-3. It was hard to predict which way it would go with both teams making errors & missing chances but unluckily for Spartans, Lions found the net on 57.08 to take the lead 4-3 through Joe Wightman which was increased with 3 seconds left on the clock with an ENG after Spartans pulled their Netminder, Chris Colegate scoring to complete his hat-trick.
Over all, a good team performance that arguably deserved something from the game but despite being disappointed the lads know exactly where they weren’t strong enough or focused so will consolidate and put it right in preparation for Whitley Bay next Sunday & the season ahead.