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Lee Valley Lions lose London derby

PUBLISHED: 20:21 02 October 2016

Lee Valley Lions Joe Weare (pic: Phil Henderson)

Lee Valley Lions Joe Weare (pic: Phil Henderson)

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Haringey Racers 3 Lee Valley Lions 2

Lee Valley Lions were left to rue a poor first period at Alexandra Palace as they came up short in their National League derby with Haringey Racers.

Beaten 7-3 by defending champions Chelmsford the night before, Lions made the short trip across the capital seeking revenge after a dramatic 5-4 loss two weeks earlier.

But the home side took an early lead through Matt Brown, assisted by Stuart Appleby, and doubled their advantage when former Lion Ben Osborne scored after good work by Dan Clayton and Rob Veares.

Clayton added an unassisted third for Haringey before the end of the first session, but Jack Lee was given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after the restart and Osborne was also binned for interference.

Lee Valley’s James Hepburn was also sent to the penalty box for playing with a broken stick, before the hosts returned to full strength.

And the visitors also killed off an interference minor against James Joseph, before opening their account with a breakaway goal from Matthew Hepburn, assisted by Henry Aiken and Ben Gillingham.

Osborne was called for slashing early in the final period, but Lions lost Aiken on a roughing penalty and Hepburn soon after for elbowing.

Nick Minhinnick’s boarding penalty negated Haringey’s powerplay chance, though, and Lions got themselves back to within one goal with just over four minutes remaining, as Oliver Glover struck from Chris Fox and Nick Alley.

Haringey’s Ryan Payne was then called for a slashing penalty, giving Lions a late powerlpay chance to try and tie the scores.

But despite pulling goalie James Andrew for an extra skater in the closing stages, Lions could not force an equaliser as Racers held on for the points to complete a derby double following their 5-4 success in east London two weeks earlier.

Lions outshot the home side 41-33 in defeat, with Ross Sin-Hidge named their man of the match, and they return to action with a home match against Bristol Pitbulls next Saturday.

Scorers, Haringey: Dan Clayton 1+1 Ben Osborne 1+1 Matt Brown 1 Rob Whittleston 0+1 Stuart Appleby 0+1 Rob Veares 0+1.

Lions: Matt Hepburn 1 Oliver Glover 1 Chris Fox 0+1 Henry Aiken 0+1 Ben Gillingham 0+1 Nick Alley 0+1.

Penalty minutes: Haringey 12 Lee Valley 8.

Shots faced: Steve Nightingale (H) 10-17-14=41-2 James Andrew (LV, 59:17) 14-9-10-33-3 Empty net (0:43) 0-0.

Referee: Donovan Florek.

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