Warriors feel Sutton’s Sting

Whitley Warriors in action against Sutton Sting. Photo by Colin Edwards
Whitley Warriors in action against Sutton Sting. Photo by Colin Edwards

WHITLEY Warriors were in action just the once last weekend when they took on the Sutton Sting away from home on Sunday afternoon.

Warriors travelled south with a strong squad, though regulars Mark Good and Jordan Barnes were unable to make the trip to Ice Sheffield in South Yorkshire.

Senior netminder Richie Lawson started the game in goal for Whitley after a spell out of action through illness.

Young goalie Joe Harley, who has been in fine form in recent weeks, reverted to his role as back up goaltender.

Sutton netted the game’s opening goal after around ten minutes through Stuart Ashton.

However, the home side were not ahead for long as Warriors equalised through Phil Pritchard, who netted after coming out of the penalty box and linking up with play.

Sting fought back to regain the lead 2-1 at the first interval as former Hull Stingrays Elite League player Chris Sykes got on the scoresheet for the home side.

The second period started positively from a Whitley point of view as Callum Watson levelled the game up after 23 minutes of action.

However, Sting began to show why they are play-off contenders this campaign as they fired home three goals home in a six-minute spell at around the halfway point of the game.

Whitley began the final period 5-2 down.

But Warriors battled away and got back in the contest when captain DJ Good netted after 44 minutes with line mate Callum Watson picking up the assist.

Warriors continued to threaten and DJ Good was again on target ten minutes later when he fired home after more fine work from Watson.

Warriors pulled netminder Lawson towards the end of the game as they went in search of an equaliser, but even with the extra man on the ice, Warriors could not tie the game up and take a point from their trip to Yorkshire.

Whitley’s man of the match award went to blue liner Pritchard, who had notched his side’s opening goal.

Both Callum Watson and DJ Good were involved in all of Warriors goals against Sutton, showing what good form the two forwards are in now that they have been paired together on Whitley’s top offensive line.

Whitley captain DJ Goodsaid: “It was a good game and we played well, Sting just took their chances extremely well.

“We lost our way in the second period a bit, but we did outplay them for large spells.

“We came close to getting the equaliser but couldn’t quite sneak it.”

Warriors are in action only once again this weekend when they take on Coventry Blaze at home on Sunday evening (5pm face-off) at Hillheads.

Coventry currently occupy the relegation play spot five points behind Warriors in the standings, so a positive result for Whitley would be a huge step in assuring NIHL North division one hockey next season on Tyneside.