Spartans paid the price for allowing the Whitley forwards too much time and space which saw them take advantage to go into the period break 3-1 up. Warriors took the lead on 3.57 through Callum Watson, assisted Mark Good & Martin Crammond but were pegged back on 4.33 when Will Barron fired home, assisted Nick Manning & Dougie Jordan. Warriors regained their lead when Adam Reynolds scored on 10.55 assisted Christian Johnson. It was soon after when Reynolds broke out to attack Spartans totally unchallenged to pick out Jamie Tinsley on 14.38 to make it 3-1 to Warriors. It was end to end stuff with both teams sharing 42 shots in the first period and Spartans who did have their fair share of chances couldn’t find a way past Lawson who was very fortunate at times to have just the one goal against him but on the balance of play, Warriors deserved their lead.
The last two periods were a lot closer with Spartans tightening things up defensively and playing with a more determined spirit but although it was still end to end the game did become a bit flat at times due to a number of penalties called on Whitley, some just, some not but they defended admirably on the penalty kill as Spartans tried to force their way back into the game. Jordan Barnes goal timed 26.51 to make it 4-1 seemed to put them in the driving seat but Spartans continued to battle away and deservedly pulled one back, a well taken goal from Ollie Barron, assisted Dougie Jordan on 31.47 End of period score was Warriors 4 Spartans 2.
The third period mirrored the second to some extent but as Spartans battled to get back into the game, Whitley as they always seem to do against us at Hillheads passed the puck to retain possession and made it very difficult for us to break them down. We tested Lawson a few times who was now making some good saves but we were dealt a sucker punch when Martin Crammond wrapped the game up on 56.21 to make it 5-2 to Warriors after a terrible slash that wasn’t called on our player who as a result lost control of the puck leaving it free for Crammond to convert his chance well and unassisted. That just about wrapped the game up but things got worse for Spartans when the referee failed to call another slashing penalty on Warriors for what was more like a scything action that knocked the stick out of Dougie Jordan’s hand. When questioned by Dougie he received a 10 minute misconduct penalty from the referee who hadn’t had to bad a game but this enraged Spartans Coach Martin White who was thrown out of the game after which the game was played out with nothing else worthwhile to comment on really. Whitley deserved their win in the end though, you can’t argue with that. They got in front by taking their chances and played to defend that lead superbly but Spartans weren’t disgraced in any way.