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Lee Valley Lions suffer heavy defeat to Bracknell Hornets

PUBLISHED: 11:00 19 September 2017

Lee Valley Lions Ben Duffy in action (Pic: Phillip Rocker)

Lee Valley Lions Ben Duffy in action (Pic: Phillip Rocker)

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Lee Valley Lions fell to a heavy 11-1 defeat against league new boys Bracknell Hornets.

The Lions welcomed back Jordan Turner and Matthew Hepburn for their first appearances of the season, but were missing Robyn Maby, Brett Shepherd, Robin Young, Daniel Tamasauskas, Lee Hounslow and captain Nick Alley for their home opener.

The visitors got off to a flying start, showing their quality instantly as Ben Ealey-Newman found the back of the net after just 50 seconds after being hit with a pass by netminder Will Sanderson.

They doubled their lead just two minutes later, when their American import Sean Scarbrough netted after good interplay with fellow Streatham alumnus Steve Fisher on the powerplay with James Joseph in the box.

The Lions managed to withstand further Hornets attacks for the next eight minutes, and had a few chances of their own but netminder Sanderson had to flash the leather on a couple of occasions.

It was 3-0 just after the halfway stage of the first period, when Josh Ealey-Newman fired past James Andrew, and after the Hornets killed a penalty against former Chelmsford Chieftains defenceman Carl Graham, they extended their advantage to 4-0 as Fisher scored his first of the evening in the 16th minute.

Scarborough added another to put his side 5-0 up in the last minute of the period when he clinically tucked home a rebound after Andrew had made a fine save to deny Fisher.

The second period saw a change of netminders for Bracknell, as they replaced Sanderson with former Invicta Dynamos goaltender James Richardson.

This did not bring about a change in fortunes for the Lions however, who continued to push hard but were unable to create many concrete chances.

They did keep the Hornets quiet at the other end of the ice for the first twelve minutes of the period, and after an altercation involving Bracknell’s Ben Ealey-Newman and Simon Geldart of the Lions, both sat two minutes for roughing.

During the ensuing 4-on-4 passage of play, James Joseph was penalised for holding back Steve Fisher, and the referee awarded a penalty shot which Fisher converted to make it 6-0.

Four minutes later the visitors made it 7-0 when Scarbrough and Fisher found themselves alone in the Lions zone after a lovely feed from Ben Ealey-Newman, with Fisher putting the puck past Andrew following a pass across the face of goal from Scarbrough to complete his hat-trick.

The Hornets well and truly put the game to bed in the first minute and a half of the third period with a three-goal blitz putting them 10-0 up.

Josh Ealey-Newman made it 8-0 just 25 seconds into the period, before Danny Hughes made it 9-0 with a blistering shot past Andrew and soon after they hit double figures as Scarbrough completed his own hat-trick.

Even at 10-0 down, the Lions did not let their heads drop as they kept pushing for a goal, and came close a few times but couldn’t get the puck in the net.

Bracknell, meanwhile, continued to pepper James Andrew with shots, and scored their 11th and final goal of the evening as player-coach Hughes unleashed his second cannon of the evening.

The Lions did manage to grab a well-deserved goal with seven minutes to go, as Matt Brown scored his first goal for the club following nice interplay with Duffy and Hepburn.

Lee Valley: Matt Brown (1+0), Ben Duffy (0+1), Matthew Hepburn (0+1)

Bracknell: Steve Fisher (3+3), Sean Scarbrough (3+2), Will Stead (0+4), Josh Ealey-Newman (2+1), Ben Ealey-Newman (1+2), Danny Hughes (0+2), Jack Hayes (0+1), Will Sanderson (0+1), Harvey Hind-Pitcher (0+1), Carl Graham (0+1).

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