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Lee Valley Lions upset Chelmsford Warriors

PUBLISHED: 09:01 22 January 2017

Chris Fox scored twice for Lee Valley in their win over Chelmsford (pic Phil Hutchinson)

Chris Fox scored twice for Lee Valley in their win over Chelmsford (pic Phil Hutchinson)

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Lee Valley Lions 6 Chelmsford Warriors 4

Lee Valley Lions claimed their first home win of the National Division Two East season with an upset of Chelmsford last night.

Having opened their 2017 schedule with a 6-1 defeat against Bristol in the cup a week earlier Lions, with only one league win in eight outings, took to their own ice with a squad of 19 skaters, including debutant Lee Hounslow.

The visitors, with six wins in eight previous outings, had former Lion TJ Fillery and new signing Bailey Chittock among their line-up, but fell behind inside there minutes as Henry Aiken’s shot took a deflection off a Chelmsford skate to find the net for Lee Valley.

The hosts doubled their advantage in the eighth minute when captain Nick Alley’s excellent pass set up Ross Sin-Hidge to score and it was 3-0 when Chris Fox converted James Hepburn’s feed in the 15th minute, following a superb save by James Andrew at the other end of the rink.

Chelmsford hit back with 21 seconds left in the opening period, as Sean Martin scored assisted by Ethan Boolkah, and Lions lost Sin-Hidge to a 10-minute misconduct penalty for illegal equipment just 24 seconds after the restart.

Thomas Wilson cut the gap to one in the 27th minute and Chelmsford drew level before the midway mark as Lions failed to clear their zone and Will Polston set up Gary Brown to score.

A hooking penalty against Boolkah gave Lions the chance to regain the lead on a powerplay, with Sin-Hidge grabbing his second goal of the night after serving his penalty, assisted by Alley and Aiken.

But the hosts had another effort ruled out after Brown was binned for high sticks, due to having a player in the goalie crease.

It was 5-3 in the last minute of the middle session, though, as Simon Geldart set up skipper Alley to score, but Brown made it a one-goal game once more with only 94 seconds played in the final period.

Chelmsford’s Martin received a 10-minute misconduct penalt to rule him out of the closing stages and Lions gave themselves some breathing space with 3:35 left on the clock as Fox scored his second goal of the evening, assisted by James and Matt Hepburn.

Warriors tried to find a way back, edging the shot count 41-32 on the night, but Lions held on for two welcome points.

Lee Valley are due to host Wightlink Buccaneers in a mixed seniors and juniors match tonight (Sunday, 5.30pm).

Buccaneers are coached by former Lions captain Blair Dubyk and the match will give both sides the chance to give their younger members some much-needed ice time.

Lions will include some of their under-20 and under-18 players and entry to the game is free.

Lions: Chris Fox 2 Ross Sin-Hidge 2 Nick Alley 1+2 Henry Aiken 1+1 James Hepburn 0+2 Simon Geldart 0+1 Matt Hepburn 0+1.

Warriors: Gary Brown 2 Thomas Wilson 1 Sean Martin 1 Donald Campbell 0+1 TJ Fillery 0+1 Will Polston 0+1 Ethan Boolkah 0+1.

Penalty minutes: Lions 14 Warriors 14.

Shots faced: James Andrew (LV) 11-12-18=41-4 Billy Cook (C) 11-10-11=32-6.

Referee; Rene Ross.

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