Lions Break Scoring Duck but Go Down to Bristol

The Lions put in one of their best, and certainly their most determined, display of the season, breaking their three game scoreless streak, before going down 8-4 to Bristol.
In the game played at Basingstoke due to the closure of the Bristol rink, the Lions arrived without seven players so acting coach Ian Prince had to improvise. Captain James Hatfull played at left wing alongside Scott Beeson and Michael Crosse, with the other forward line linking Adam Peach, Phil Carson and Callum Heath. The defence was made up of James Joseph, Jack Ball, James Gosling, Alan Go and young Jarvis Mewitt. Aaron Mallet was in goal and was once again kept busy in a first period which saw Bristol score four goals, and it may have been more if not for some good stops from the Lee Valley number 1.
But despite the lack of numbers and the four goal deficit, the Lions fought back well in the second period hitting the post and going inches wide on several occasions before Peach found Heath to slot in the first from the right of the crease at 29.58. Bristol struck back right away to make it 5-1 before Peach netted himself with a shot on 38 minutes. Crosse, Beeson and Carson all went close before the teams skated off with the score 5-2.
The Lions continued the fight back in the third with Crosse and Beeson combining nicely to create a number of chances including a shot from Joseph that went just over the bar and several scrambles around the Bristol net. Then Beeson connected with a Gosling pass to score at 48.05 when skating in from the right.
The Lions were unlucky to concede a goal on a bad deflection but Beeson scored again at 53.09 after good work from Carson and Bristol were unable to take victory for granted until the very last minutes.
Outshot 64/29 the short staffed Lions were bound to tire and Bristol added two late goals to make it an 8-4 score line which doesn’t do justice to the Lions’ spirit and determination.
Aaron Mallet took the man of the match and for the players that made the game, some very encouraging signs to take into the weekend double header with Swindon and Chelmsford.