Spartans & Sutton Sting shared the points in last weekend’s double header which on reflection was a fair outcome although Spartans will feel a little disappointed with certain aspects of their game on the Saturday.
It’s fair to say that both defences were in generous mood which was reflective of the 7-5 score line which was in Sutton’s favour. Spartans were kicking themselves with regards to missed opportunities but after opening the scoring through Scott Morris found themselves 3-1 down with the pick of Stings goals being a lovely move finely finished by Carl Ashton. Spartans battled back to tie the period through Nick Manning & Scott Morris. Missed chances & defensive lapses let Sutton in who took their chances well to go into the final period 6-5 to the good with Nick Manning & Martin Finkes grabbing Spartans goals in what was a good game of hockey although spoilt by some bizarre decisions from the two man referee system. Sting nicked another goal, well taken too to edge further in front 7-5 in the final period where they tightened up at the back to thwart Spartans whilst countering offensively to keep Spartans rear guard on their toes to see the game out, confidently so and in the end deserved the points. Spartans disappointment was increased with the loss of influential new import signing Maros Stefanco. Scott Morris was awarded Spartans Man of the Match.
It was always likely that Sunday’s affair would be a different game and it proved to be the case with both defences in less generous mood in what was a tight game but one in which Spartans ran deserved winners. Mike Mawer’s first goal for Spartans in the opening period was all that separated the teams in term of goals but Spartans held the upper hand initially whilst Sting battled to get back into the game. It was nail biting stuff at times but Spartans held out to bag a 1-0 win with netminder Brandon Stones getting the Man of the Match beers for Spartans.
Spartans Coach Martin White shared his thoughts on last weekend’s tussles with Sutton… “Last weekend we faced the Sting in a double header with the honours shared across the weekend. Credit to Sutton they played well and will most likely be happier with 1 won and 1 lost than ourselves, we’d targeted it as a 4 point weekend and we’re disappointed we didn’t take the points in both games, that said we were far from our best on the Saturday and let in uncharacteristic goals so we can have no arguments.
On top of the disappointment of dropping 2 points our import forward Maros Stefanco received a nasty injury from a clean hit and could well be out for a considerable length of time, which will be a blow after a promising start to the season from Maros. All the lads and management wish him a speedy recovery”.
This weekend Spartans face two tough matches starting with a home game against Billingham Stars on Saturday facing off at 1.30pm. Spartans will be keen to put the record straight after a somewhat indifferent display up in Billingham the other week in which the Stars bagged a 4-0 win. Stars were worthy winners that day but Spartans left one or two questions unanswered and will be looking for a confident & more rounded all round competent showing on home ice to record a long awaited win over Stars.
Sunday sees Spartans travelling to Blackburn to face the defending Moralee Champions the Hawks. Blackburn has always been a difficult place to get a result, none more so than now and despite changes to the roster they appear to have an even better balanced squad than last season. It doesn’t get any harder than this but Spartans have had some positive performances against the Hawks recently, not getting the rub of the green on a couple of occasions. We will be looking for the same level of performance as on those occasions as a minimum which has to be the case if we are to take any points from Hawks.
Martin White added…”The coming weekend sees us face Billingham and Blackburn in two difficult fixtures. Both Billingham and Blackburn have started the season well and will be fielding strong squads so any slips will be costly, we’ll need to be on our game for 60 mins in each match to compete for the points against teams with formidable netminding and offensive capabilities. I’m sure both games will be hard fought whoever takes the points”.
So it’s a tough weekend ahead for Spartans but one that will hopefully bring out the best of what we are about starting with our home game this Saturday, 3rd October vs Billingham Stars at Ice Sheffield…please note that the face-off time for this fixture is 1.30pm. We hope to see as many of you there as possible & thank you for your continued support #allspartans