Whitley Warriors lose out to sprightly Sheffield Spartans

Richard Lawson saving a penalty shot. Picture by Colin Edwards
Richard Lawson saving a penalty shot. Picture by Colin Edwards
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Whitley Warriors lost their Moralee Conference clash with Sheffield Spartans 5-3 on Saturday afternoon.

Warriors had a strong roster to chose from as the only senior players missing from the line-up were Ross Hanlon, Dan Harris and Dan Murdy, who were all unavailable.

They started the game positively and had an early power play opportunity after seven minutes of action when Spartans’ alternate captain Paul Weeks was called for hooking.

But Whitley were unable to capitalise on their man advantage as Sheffield killed off the first penalty of the game.

Spartans went on to take the lead three minutes later when Ollie Barron fired home after some nice work from Ross Jordan.

Barron extended Sheffield’s lead on 19 minutes when he scored on a power play marker which saw Warriors 2-0 down at the first intermission.

Whitley started the second period positively, though, as Karl Culley made it 2-1 just four minutes into the middle session of play.

Five minutes later they levelled the game up when Callum Watson found the back of the net after being set up by captain DJ Good.

But Spartans continued to create openings and James Maughan put the home side in front again after 32 minutes of action.

Warriors ran into penalty trouble late on in the second, however, summer signing Culley was able to tie the game up at 3-3 with a superbly taken short handed marker.

Both sides were able to create opportunities at the start of the third but neither side was able to find the back of the net until a defensive blunder from keeper Richie Lawson on 48 minutes saw Stuart Brittle intercepted the netminder’s misplaced clearance and slotted home.

Warriors pressed forward in search of the game tieing goal but Sheffield were able to launch a swift counter attack which resulted in their new signing Brittle netting his second of the game and Spartans’ fifth of the contest.

Whitley Coach Simon Leach then pulled his net minder so Warriors could have the extra skater out on the ice, however, Whitley just could not find a way past the impressive Stones in the Spartans net.

After the contest, Warriors skipper DJ Good said: “We were poor and gave away two points.

“They have some good players but we are a better team and we needed to win that game.

“We were slow and unorganised at times and didn’t look as fit as we could be, so we need to improve because we have two games next weekend and need some positive results.”

Whitley are in action twice this coming weekend as Warriors travel to the north west on Saturday to take on the Manchester Minotaurs before facing off against the Telford Titans on Sunday (face-off 5pm) at Hillheads Ice Rink.