Sheffield Spartans are back on home ice this weekend with a tough test against Blackburn Hawks on Saturday, face off 3.45pm. Spartans will be looking to improve upon what was a disappointing outcome from last Sunday’s game in Telford. Some observers saw it as a respectable point gained but we don’t see it that we, and certainly the mood was one of frustration & disappointment on the journey home.
Telford made the most of the opportunity afforded to them to take the lead but Spartans hit back through Ben Jones & Andy Turner to take a deserved 2-1 lead into the second period. Spartans dominated possession and at times outplayed their opponents in the second but couldn’t make their chances count. It has to be said though that Tigers were far from their best and at times struggled but the inevitable happened when they pounced on a chance to equalise and tie the game at 2-2. Spartans had nobody to blame other than them self and had they made the most of their possession the game could have been out of Telford’s reach. It wasn’t and they went on to take the lead in the third but Ollie Barron put Spartans back on equal terms from which point Telford dug in to enjoy what was their best period but Spartans continued to create opportunities and may have been a little guilty of trying to over complicate things in the search of the winner. In fairness though, as the final period reached its conclusion, Telford looked more and more stubborn and the less likely off the two teams to lose the game. As it was, neither team could find the winner and had to be content with a share of the spoils. Not sure on how Telford will reflect on the game but for Spartans it was a case of a point dropped but, as has been the case this season, if you don’t make your chances count you aren’t going to win!
Spartans Coach Martin White commented…“Last weekend saw us draw at Telford. We dominated the majority of the game yet failed to convert the chances we created and found ourselves in a tight game in terms of the score line. The three goals we conceded were all preventable and a result of lapses in concentration; something we have not been able to eradicate all season. A win would have put us at 50/50 wins and losses and also seen us jump above Telford to 4th in the most competitive league of recent seasons.
The Telford game also saw Liam Kirk make his senior debut on his 16th birthday and put in a very impressive performance. Liam has been training with us for a couple of seasons and we’ve long been awaiting him turning 16 and becoming eligible to ice at a senior level. We’ll look to give Liam as much ice as possible during his time with the Spartans; he’s one to watch out for and will no doubt be icing at a professional level in the very near future”.
So to this Saturday’s game against Blackburn Hawks, a game in which more than ever we will need to put away our chances when they come. Hawks are formidable opponents and have bounced back from a rare defeat with some impressive form. They have quality, experience and skill in every department and are on course to win the league once more. We are under no illusions against a team that has just lost one league game in two years but we have shown that on
our day we are credible opponents but we need to be sure that it is our day, just as it was against Solway, Whitley & Senators prior to the Christmas break in the knowledge that if we can find some consistency to our game we can make the play-offs this season.
Coach Martin White looks forward to this Saturday’s clash by adding… “This weekend we face Blackburn and will look to build on the long periods of positive play and possession we enjoyed against Telford, no doubt that will be difficult to accomplish against the league leaders and current reigning champions yet it’s something we must do if we’re to take anything from the game. If we can cut out the lapses and focus for the full 60 minutes we know we’re capable of beating anyone as the Whitley home game demonstrated. Last season we were the only team to consistently threaten Blackburn’s unbeaten status and we need to get back to that level of performance quickly if we’re to chase down one of playoff spots”.
On a positive note, it’s three games unbeaten now for the Spartans who will be looking to continue their mini-run of results against the league’s best team the Blackburn Hawks. Please note that the face-off for Saturday’s game is 3.45pm…thank you for your continued support #allspartans