A strange first period ended 0-0 with both sets of supporters seemingly happy with the score line as it was. Spartans seemed the more comfortable of the two teams in possession and played some nice hockey but Sting looked far more dangerous with some nice breakouts from the back for which Spartans defence had to be fully aware of to thwart Sutton who outshot Spartans 27 shots to 9.
Within the first minute of the second period Spartans were in front when Stuart Brittle took advantage of a defensive error to squeeze the puck past Zimozdra with Ollie Barron & Scott Morris claiming the assists. Goal was timed 20.46. The game was end to end with both teams in determined mood but Spartans with their lead were initially the better team but Sutton slowly took over control to put Spartans under some intense pressure to which the defence and Brandon Stones in goal were in excellent form to keep Sting out. Spartans though did create chances but really didn’t make the most of them to push home the advantage they held. End of the second period the score was Spartans 1 Sutton 0.
Into the final period the game was still intense & evenly balanced when Spartans extended their lead with a powerplay goal scored by Andy Cook, assisted Nick Manning & Will Barron on 44.16. Sutton still looked threatening going forward but couldn’t find a way past a confident and well organised Spartans rear guard which was becoming to look like the big difference between the two teams; even more so when James Maughan scored a well worked goal from Alex Harding & Tom Parkinson to make it 3-0 on 50.47. Spartans looked comfortable now but the one thing about Sting is that they do have the quality to create something from nothing & did exactly that on 53.03 with a powerplay goal from Thomas Stuart Dant; with a great shot on goal that was assisted Chris Colegate. Both teams had chances to score but it was Sutton who broke through again on 59.01 to set up a very nervy final minute after James Spurr converted his chance on 59.01 assisted Simon Butterworth & Robert Streetly.
Spartans held on to claim a valuable victory with a good solid, gritty team performance which saw Brandon Stones awarded our Man of the Match; with a special mention for the referee Steve Brown, who had an excellent game, refereed it sensibly and allowed the game to flow which added to its overall enjoyment.
It was also pleasing to see a few returning from injury to get a game under their belt and with next weekend off as well as the return of Dougie Jordan; Spartans will hope to be at full strength for their trip to Whitley Bay on Sunday 1st December.
Final Score: Spartans 3 Sutton Sting 2