Peterborough Phantoms lose two challenge matches to Milton Keynes, but it was great to be back after 18 months away

Peterborough Phantoms returned to action for the first time in 18 months over the weekend (September 11/12), but lost twice in challenge matches to Milton Keynes Lightning.

Monday, 13th September 2021, 6:51 am
Billy Thorpe (left) in action for Phantoms against MK. Photo: Matt Sludds.

The city side went down 6-1 in MK on Saturday before suffering a 6-5 overtime home loss last night in the first game at Planet Ice for 546 days.

More important matches are on the horizon for Phantoms. For now it was just great to be back, especially in front of an excited home crowd.

Phantoms suffered a difficult night in MK. Bobby Chamberlain gave the home side the lead before Sam Talbot doubled their advantage with just over 15 minutes played.

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Nathan Pollard in action for Phantoms against MK. Photo: Matt Sludds.

Tom Norton answered straight back with a power play bullet to send the Phantoms in to the first intermission down by one.

But that was as good as it got on the night, with Sean Norris and two Russell Cowley efforts putting the game out of reach with 20 minutes still to play.

Cowley scored the lone goal of the third period to seal his hat-trick and a 6-1 win for MK.

Glenn Billing took the man of the match honours for Phantoms. Ales Padelek and Billing assisted on Norton’s goal.

Phantoms started poorly in the return game at Planet Ice. But the opening exchanges didn’t go to plan as Callum Field and Hallden Barnes-Garner put MK two ahead with just 5:04 on the clock. Phantoms weathered the storm without creating too much themselves to go into the first break two behind.

Sam Talbot struck early in the second to make it 3-0 for the visitors, before Ales Padelek fired home a power play goal to get the Phantoms up and running. Glenn Billing notched the Phantoms’ second, only for Bobby Chamberlain to extend the advantage back to two at the end of the second period.

But the Phantoms came out firing in the third, with Billing collecting his second of the night after good work from Padelek. Duncan Speirs levelled the scores with his first for the club and one he’ll likely remember for some time. He gained the zone on the right wing and lasered his shot right into the top corner to tie the game.

Talbot got his second of the night just 35 seconds later to put MK 5-4 ahead, only for Luc Johnson to grab his first goal in Phantoms colours to send the game into overtime.

The overtime period was an evenly matched affair, but when Morgan Clarke-Pizzo sat a hooking penalty, MK made the most of the man advantage to seal the win in the bonus frame.

Billing again took the Phantoms man of the match honours. He was credited with two assists on top his goal. Other assists came from Padelek (2), Johnson and Ross Clarke.

Phantoms are back in action this weekend with two National League Cup ties at Basingstoke on Saturday (September 18) and at home to MK again on Sunday (5.30pm).