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Lee Valley Lions look to tame Pitbulls

PUBLISHED: 13:30 06 October 2016

Lee Valley Lions coach George Alley (right) looks on from the bench during his side's opening match of the 2016/17 season (pic: Phil Henderson)

Lee Valley Lions coach George Alley (right) looks on from the bench during his side's opening match of the 2016/17 season (pic: Phil Henderson)

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Coach Alley still seeking first success

Lee Valley Lions coach George Alley is expecting a tough challenge from Bristol Pitbulls in National League Division Two South this weekend.

Lions are without a win in six matches so far this season, after losing to Chelmsford and Haringey last weekend.

And Alley says his players will have to be ready for their next challenge on Saturday, saying: “We haven’t played Bristol for a few years now but they still have their main core of players, like the Hargreaves brothers and Ady Smith.

“Looking at the rest of the team, they’ve benefited from Cardiff NIHL Devils folding so they’ll be quite strong.

“I think they’ll want to dictate the pace of the game with possession, so we’ll have the be prepared to go hard at them from the beginning.”

Defending league champions Chelmsford proved too strong at Lee Valley last Saturday, skating to a 7-3 win as James Hepburn, Chris Fox and Nick Alley netted for Lions.

Haringey raced into a 3-0 lead at Alexandra Palace the following night, before Matthew Hepburn and Oliver Glover hit back to raise hopes for Lions.

But the hosts held on for the points, despite being outshot 41-33, and Alley added: “Against Chelmsford I thought we started really well but couldn’t keep control of the puck enough.

“The players they brought in from the Chieftains will only drop down a few times this season so it was good to have that kind of challenge.

“Against Haringey we started too slowly. There was no intensity or conviction in anything we did.

“After the second period we were the better team, but we didn’t take enough shots in dangerous areas. It’s pretty galling to lose like that to them again.”

Lions had lost 5-4 to the Racers when the two sides met in east London two weeks earlier and Alley says they need to cut out the unforced errors to enjoy improved results.

He said: “Aside from Peterborough the teams in the South East league are all pretty even, but if we don’t start getting rid of our own mistakes, we just punish ourselves.

“I know we are much better than results suggest.”

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