Sheffield Spartans suffered a disappointing defeat at home to Blackburn Hawks last Saturday in what was at times a lack lustre performance. Despite once again short on numbers Spartans made an excellent start to take the lead when Ollie Barron slipped his shot under the netminder after a nice pass from Martin Finkes. Hawks were not happy with the goal but the puck had clearly gone over the line. This seemed to fire Hawks into action who went on to eventually dominate to take a 3-1 advantage into the second period with goals from Brittle, Berra & Pollitt. Spartans did have some good spells of possession but never really tested Ashton in Hawks goal bar a great individual effort from Scott Morris which the stopper was equal to.
Things got worse for Spartans in the next period as they slipped further behind, largely due to some awful defensive play which Hawks, who had upped the tempo, punished with some slick moves & passing to punish Spartans through Berra, Haslam, Arnone & Brittle. Spartans had their moments but never seriously threatened until Martin Finkes surged forward on 38.09, shaking off the attention of a couple of Hawks players to release the puck to Stuart Brittle who fired home to pull a goal back to make the score 7-2 in Hawks favour. Spartans enjoyed what was their best moments of the game with Ashton forced to make a couple of saves before the hooter sounded.
Spartans were quick out of the block to give the home support some hope with a well worked goal with Ollie Barron setting up Stuart Brittle’s second of the game timed 42.02. Any hope or joy was short lived as it took just 22 seconds for Hawks to restore their five goal cushion through Pollitt. Spartans were at last making a go of things with an improved performance in the final period but it was still short of what is expected and it was all too easy at times for Hawks who went onto score another four goals to make it 12-3. As the clocked ticked down Hawks took their eye off the puck which was understandable under the circumstances to see Spartans add a late consolation goal time 59.59 to make the final score Spartans 4 Blackburn Hawks 12.
Even though Spartans were short benched it doesn’t excuse what was a disappointing performance against Hawks who are a better team but on the day were far, far better. Spartans Man of the Match Award went to Martin Finkes with Kyle Haslam receiving the vote for Hawks.
Next home game is against Telford Tigers NIHL on Sunday 18th October facing off at 2.15pm.