Devils show their class in trip to the Lions’ lair

National League: Lee Valley Lions 2 Solent & Gosport Devils 6

Lee Valley Lions were brought back down to Earth with a bump on Saturday as they crashed out to league leaders Solent & Gosport Devils.

Following back-to-back home victories for the first time this season, the Lions welcomed the Devils to Lee Valley, but a lethargic display during the first period put paid to what could have been a closely fought battle.

The visitors managed to put four goals past Lions netminder Steve Grout in the opening period, while at the other end of the ice, Christian Cole had little bother in the Devils’ goal.

Lee Valley’s performance stepped up a gear in the second period and while their defenders formed an effective barrier against the Devils’ attackers which prevented the hosts conceding more goals, the home side were still unable to get on the scoresheet, and the score remained 4-0 in favour of the visitors.

The Lions’ struggle continued in the final period and it was Solent’s Kevin Tanner who increased the visitors’ goal tally further, his goal assisted by Richard Nembhard and Alex Cole.

Thanks to penalties, Lee Valley then found themselves in the unenviable position of being two men down.

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However, they not only rose to the challenge admirably, but took control of the ice, the likes of Romanas Fedotovas, Blair Dubyk and James Hatfull even able to shoot on goal.

Solent’s Canadian player, Andrew Campbell, inflicted further damage on Lee Valley when his goal got past Grout to put his team 6-0 up with less than five minutes left in the game. However, Lee Valley were not going down without a fight and they continued to push forward.

Their efforts were finally rewarded when Richard Hodge scored, followed by a second goal from Dubyk with just nine seconds left on the clock.

The final score of 6-2 added just a glimmer of respectability to the Lions’ performance, and the hosts could take some heart from the fact that instead of crumbling after a decidedly shaky start they pulled things together and put on a credible showing against what was extremely formidable opposition

This Saturday, Lee Valley continue their run of home games when they entertain Bristol Pitbulls at 5.15pm.

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