Sutton shut out Stars !!
Ultimate Windows Billingham Stars travelled to Ice Sheffield to take on Sutton Sting on Sunday night. With a win for Solway the previous night the Stars knew only a win against the Sting would be good enough.Â
Mark Watson started in goal for the Stars and was the first to be tested only a minute into the game.Â
A well workedÂ effort for the Sting came in the sixth minute when Ashton lifted it over the pads of Watson to open the scoring.
A classy glove save from Watson prevented Sutton moving further ahead just before the ten minute mark, however aÂ strike from an unmarked Adam Robinson gave the Sting a two goal lead by the first break.Â
Just past the halfway marker Sting import Canadian Stuart â€“Dant fired into the top corner to make it three unanswered goals and close the second session Sutton 3 Billingham 0.Â
Stars started the third on the back foot and two nice stops denied the Sting further advantage. Billingham came at the home side with renewed vigour and started to put some pressure on Sutton, but couldnâ€™t make the chances count, and the clock counted down to a 3 â€“ 0 loss for the Stars.Â
Billingham coach Terry Ward did not hold back when asked about his sides performance;Â
â€œWe didnâ€™t play well at all, we started off badly, we still had bus legs, we gave two goals away and found ourselves two goals down that meant we were always up against it and were trying to break, we werenâ€™t on our game, I have told the boys in the dressing room that I am disappointed with their work rate and their effort, you cant afford to take nights off against any team in this league otherwise you get punished and we were punished tonightâ€.Â
â€œSutton didnâ€™t look good, they were there for the taking, if we had put the same effort in that we did last week we would have taken them, the guys in the dressing room are hanging their heads they know they just didnâ€™t try enoughâ€.Â
â€œIn the third we decided we would come out and give it our all, we got them all fired up in the dressing room and I am disappointed because we had a few chances and we didnâ€™t scoreâ€.Â
â€œWe need to be more direct with our shooting on net, the guys were looking for the pretty plays and the pretty goals, myself and Michael Bowman have discussed this tonight, we need to be more direct and what we did tonight just doesnâ€™t workâ€.Â
â€œ Ben Davison broke a skate blade and we couldnâ€™t get it replaced, so we had to change things round a bit, we tried a tactical change with Luke Brown, we tried to liven things up and that allowed Jack Emerson and Jack Davies to give two good performances, Sutton chose Jack Emmerson for our man of the match, in my head it was Jack Davies, the third line performed the better tonight and itâ€™s a shame the first two lines couldnâ€™t perform as well, itâ€™s a team game, we hold our hands up we needed a team performance and we just didnâ€™t get itâ€.Â
â€œIf we play like we did tonight against Whitley next weekend we will be again on the wrong end of a defeat, we know where we are going wrong, Michael and Richie and myself have had a long talk with the guys, I am sure we have got our message across loud and clear and if we have to make changes we willâ€.Â
â€œWe hope Stephen will be back next weekend, it turned out he needed another week off after what was a nasty injury, it hurts when its one of your best players, he is a goal scorer, all his career he has been a goal scorer and we are missing himâ€.
Stars return to home ice action next Sunday night (18:30) when Whitley Warriors make their first visit of the season to Billingham Forum Ice arena.