Spartans travelled up to Dumfries to take on Solway Sharks on Saturday in which was always going to be a tricky fixture but the 8-0 score line doesn’t really reflect the whole story although it can’t be argued that Solway deserved their victory.
Sharks were 2-0 up in two minutes with goals from Senko on 0.52, assisted Bowie/Henderson & Adams on 2.01, assisted Tonnar/Gallagher. Solway won’t get two easier goals to score all season with Spartans defence all over the place & in generous mood. We struggled to create anything worthwhile to get back into the game and the writing seemed on the wall as early in the game as it was when Solway made it 3-0 with an unassisted goal from the impressive Senko on 16.26. That goal seemed to wake Spartans up a bit as they played the period out in a more determined mood & snubbed out Sharks to see the period out to be 3-0 down.
The second period saw a much improved Spartans not just match Sharks but at times were arguably better but couldn’t find a way past a well organised defence which could be said about Sharks with Brandon Stones in good form again with the Spartans defence looking solid but unfortunately couldn’t prevent Iain Bowie scoring a very good goal on 39.13, assisted Gallagher/Crane to go into the final period 4-0 up.
The final period initially continued as the second period had been played out, pretty much evenly but Solway soon got into their stride & showed their true class to take the game to Spartans who never gave up but faced an impossible task when on 44.49 Murray made it 5-0, assisted Senko/Bowie. Things got worse for Spartans when Henderson grabbed his first senior goal on 49.25, assisted Senko/Bowie. Ben Churchfield took over from Brandon Stones in Spartans goal. He had only been on the ice for 14 seconds before he was picking the puck out of the net after been left wide open by his defence for Tonnar to score, assisted by Crane on 51.30. Ben did well in goal facing 13 shots in the last 10 minutes as Sharks piled on the pressure but there was nothing he could do when Tonnar added his second & Solway’s 8th on 59.32 to secure a deserved victory. Andy Cook was Spartans Man of the Match with Struan Tonnar winning it for Solway Sharks.
Final Score: Solway Sharks 8 Spartans 0
Despite a longer than usual journey from Solway due to the coach breaking down & being diverted due to the closure on M1, Spartans seemed fresh & in determined mood which was more than evident in the first period however their domination wasn’t made to count against a very spirited Telford team backed by an impressive Elliott Tolley in goal to be only two goals up with Scott Morris scoring on 6.16, assisted Ollie Barron/Stuart Brittle followed by Will Barron on 7.39, assisted Tom Humphries/Nick Whyatt.
Spartans started the second period keenly but allowed Telford to come back into the game which they took advantage of when they pulled a goal back on 26.46 through Rigby assisted by the Stanton brothers. Three quick goals though from Spartans put them back in control despite the game becoming scrappy at times. Jonathon Kirk scored a nice goal on 30.54, assisted Tom Humphries/Scott Morris. This was followed by an Ollie Barron goal that was assisted by Stuart Brittle on 31.24 with Tom Humphries making it 5-1 on 32.41, assisted Will Barron/Nick Whyatt. It could have been a far great margin going into the last period had it not been for some excellent netminding from Tolley in Telford’s goal, making some very brave saves to keep Titans in touch.
Connor Gordon hit back for Titans to make the score 5-2 after some early pressure, assisted Blakemore/Jets with a nervy looking Spartans glad to quickly restore their 4 goal advantage on 43.19 through Tom Humphries assisted Nick Whyatt/Michael Alexander. With both teams struggling at times to get a real grip on the game it was a little scrappy but Spartans continued to create the better chances and were content to see Tom Parkinson extend their lead with a good goal on 55.48, assisted James Maughan/Jonathon Kirk. In the last minute of the game Tom Humphries made it 8-2 with his hat-trick goal to round off a good performance that saw him awarded Spartans Man of the Match. Assists on the last goal went to Will Barron/Nick Whyatt in a game where the win was really what mattered to get Spartans back to winning ways.
Final Score: Spartans 8 Telford Titans 2