Bottom of the table Fire were severely hampered by availability issues. Only 12 members of their squad travelled to Berkshire to take on the Hornets. With their season record up to this point, as well as the very short bench, victory seemed all but a certainty for Mark Saunders’ Hornets team.
However, anyone thinking this was going to be an easy victory were forced to question themselves less than five minutes in. The Fire were the first to strike, captain Elis Sheppard with the goal. The home crowd were a little stunned, this start wasn’t expected.
Trailing by one goal, the Hornets ramped up the pressure, eventually making it count. Steve Osman scored the tying goal 13 minutes in, Michael Stratford and Josh Ealey-Newman his providers.
The scoring then just seemed to stop. No more goals graced the first period and the two team went in tied. The second period was a slow burner, with both teams being given power play opportunities that they weren’t able to capitalise on.
The second period is when Fire goalie Lewis Davies started to shine. He faced a total of 16 shots and stopped all of them. That being said, Hornets goalie Matt Croyle was also in fine form in the second. He faced a number of Fire shots and did well to keep them at bay during the second period.
The third period was much of the same, however the Hornets really took it to the Fire. Goalie Croyle almost played the role of spectator in the third, only being called on to make five saves. Quiet in comparison to the previous 40 minutes.
Then came the turning point in the game. With less than four minutes remaining, Fire’s Lewis Stevens was called for charging. Neither team had been successful on their power play attempts so far and Hornets coach Mark Saunders called a timeout for his team.
The timeout worked wonders for the Hornets and with 2’48” remaining in the game, the Hornets took the lead for the first time. Tamas Elias converting on the power play, scoring his first goal of the season.
It wasn’t long before the Fire found themselves back in the penalty box. This time, Fire goal scorer Elis Sheppard was called for a late hit. Like the old cliche, the Hornets waited all game to convert on the power play and then twice in a matter of minutes. Ben Ealey-Newman capped off the performance for the Hornets, with 42 seconds left on the clock.
A game the Hornets deserved to win, but one that the Fire can be equally gutted about losing.
McTimoney Chiropractic Bracknell Hornets goals:
- 12:33 Steve Osman, assisted by Michael Stratford & Josh Ealey-Newman
- 57:12 Tamas Elias, assisted by Matt Foord & Chris Cooke
- 59:18 Ben Ealey-Newman, assisted by Chris Cooke & Matt Foord
Cardiff Fire goals:
- 04:52 Elis Sheppard, assisted by Carter Lloyd
Shots faced: Matt Croyle (BRA) 31 shots – 97.77%, Lewis Davies (CAR) 44 shots – 93.18%
Penalties: Bracknell – 8 minutes, Cardiff – 10 minutes
Electronic Game Sheet is available online at https://w.fixtureslive.com/staticapi.aspx?a=statzone_match.ashx%3ffixtureID%3d2219229
For all the Official Match Night Photos, please visit Hannah Kirsti Photography’s Flickr account online at https://www.flickr.com/photos/148487722@N03/albums/72157711215035637/with/48849852417/