MATCH REPORT: Revenge mission is a success for city side who return to the top of the table

Glen Billing was Phantoms' man-of-the-match at London Raiders.
Glen Billing was Phantoms' man-of-the-match at London Raiders.
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Peterborough Phantoms claimed a sweet slice of NIHL Division One South revenge last night (January 7).

The title-chasing city team were comfortable 5-2 winners against London Raiders as they put right a surprise first league loss of the season at the hands of the same opponents. That arrived on home ice back in November.

Ales Padelek scored for Phantoms at London Raiders.

Ales Padelek scored for Phantoms at London Raiders.

And Phantoms head coach Slava Koulikov also received the desired response to a New Year’s Day home defeat at the hands of joint table-toppers Basingstoke.

Nathan Salem opened the scoring just before the mid-point of the first session and a short-handed Glenn Billing strike doubled their advantage four seconds before the buzzer.

Three further Phantoms goals arrived in the second period courtesy of Will Weldon, Salem and Ales Padelek.

Hosts London did briefly reduce their arrears to 3-1 through Tom Beesley and grabbed a consolation in the final period when Jake Sylvester beat Phantoms’ former Raiders netminder Euan King.

“It’s a good result and we produced a good performance to earn it,” said Koulikov. “There is very little for me to be unhappy about.

“The league table shows that London are best of the teams who played in the NIHL last season. In fact they are only a point off the top four.

“We knew we had to correct certain areas of our performance from the home game against London and we managed to do that.

“We were able to gain an advantage in a pretty even first period and scoring more goals in the second period allowed us to then control the game.”

Phantoms were without forward Owen Griffiths, who is preparing to sit university exams. Defenceman Scott Robson did complete the game despite being bloodied by a puck to the face during the second period.

Phantoms remain level with Basingstoke, who triumphed 3-2 at Bracknell last night, at the top of the standings.

The city side now lead the way by virtue of the number of goals they have scored with both teams boasted matching goal differences. Basingstoke boast a game in hand.

Phantoms are not back in league action until Saturday, January 20 when they go to Milton Keynes Thunder.

Before then they contest their two-legged NIHL Autumn Cup semi-final against Swindon. Koulikov’s men travel to Wiltshire this Thursday (January 11) ahead of a return clash at Planet Ice a week later.

MATCH DETAILS

Goals

London

27:05 Beesley ass: Huska/Smith

44:51 Sylvester ass: Baldock

Phantoms

9:04 Salem ass: Jamieson

19:56 Billing (SH) ass: Norton

22:52 Weldon ass: Pick/Pollard

29:33 Salem unassisted

32:34 Padelek ass: Salem/Jamieson

Men-of-the-match

London – Andy Munroe

Phantoms – Glenn Billing