Nottingham Lions 3 Telford Titans 6
The Lions first home game of 2012 saw the visit of the free-scoring Telford Titans to the NIC on Sunday night.
Telford came into the den in high spirits on the back of three straight wins in 2012 scoring 28 goals in the process whilst the Lions were looking for their first win of the new year after a narrow 4-2 defeat at Billingham last Sunday.
New boys James Robinson and Nicky Balchin were in the squad to make their debuts for the Lions whilst captain Chris Colegate was still out injured.
A free-flowing first period saw the Lions take first blood after two minutes thanks to Joe Wightman (01.53).
As expected the Titans looked dangerous in front of Richard Griffiths’ net and eventually broke through at 10.55, courtesy of Karol Jets.
A deflected shot on the powerplay from Dan Taylor put the Titans into the lead (14.23) before seconds-later, Joe Wightman popped up for his second (15.08) to tie things up going into the second period.
Head Coach Matt Bradbury decided a change of netminder was required as Sam Gospel entered the fray within 3 minutes of the restart after Chris Jones put Telford back in front on 22.30.
Both teams then grazed the metalwork Chris Jones firing one off the bar before Joe Wightman found himself centimeters from a hat-trick scraping the bar at the other end.
Lions were unlucky not to find an equaliser before the end of the period with some unlucky bounces falling their way and some narrow misses but Benjamin Hunt in the Titans goal held firm to see out the period.
Nottingham equalised for the second time through Nick Whyatt (44.08) to set up a thrilling finish, but as the period wore on Telford gained the upper hand – Chris Jones getting his second of the day (49.08) followed Dan Taylor capitalising on an uncharacteristic error for Marcus Maynard in his own zone to hit the Telford’s fifth (57.22).
The Lions then tried to grab back a hold on the game, pulling Gospel for an extra attacker but their efforts were in vein as Chris Jones completed his hat-trick with an empty-net goal (58.59).
Post game interviews with Matt Bradbury, Nick Whyatt and Gareth O’Flaherty plus Telford Titans’ Paul Shuttleworth and Dan Taylor are now available to view on LionsTV – our online TV channel.
Two tough but important away games now await Nottingham, as they travel to the Coventry Blaze next Saturday before making the trip to Blackburn to take on the Hawks on the Sunday.
Joe Wightman 2+1, Nick Whyatt 1+1, Jonny Bell 0+1, Ben Wood 0+1.
Scores – 1st 1-1, 2nd 1-2, 3rd 1-3.
Shots – 1st 19-15, 2nd 15-18, 3rd 15-19, Total – 49-52.
Pen Mins. – 1st 2-2, 2nd 4-2, 3rd 0-0, Total – 6-4.
Lions MOTM – Nicky Balchin.