BRADFORD BULLDOGS 2 - 15 ALTRINCHAM ACES 1 DECEMBER 2002
Nipper's return to the bench came as full strength Aces visited Bradford. Aces had won six out of their last seven games and Bradford had lost all ten so far this season. It looked even more of a mismatch as Bradford started the warm up with only six skaters but with a trickle of new players arriving they eventually reached eleven out skaters by halfway through the first period.
Aces scored after four minutes, Jason Hewitt skating through and taking the rebound from the save on his first effort wide to score. Although Bradford were working hard, Aces were making lots of chances but finding it difficult to beat Bradford goalie, Jon Muff. Danny Higgin tried to entertain us with a failed attempt at juggling the puck but wouldn't see much more of the puck in the period. We scored again near half way after Luke Stretton's shot was saved and Stephen Elliott slotted home the rebound. Soon after, Billy Price was put through and made no mistake, top corner and that was the end of the scoring for the period as we couldn't finish on a night when a 'top goalscorer' like Alan Gemmell would have had six or seven!!
Early in the second period saw Danny having to make a sliding save to deny Craig Dyson. Aces' fourth arrived with a pass out from behind the net from Greg Allen to Tim Dempsey who flicked it up and over the goalie. Danny then had to stop Wayne Bromley on a break before Luke's shot/pass was met by Steve Michie in front who had an open net to aim at. Goals were now starting to flow - Jason scored the sixth, letting fly from the blue line and a series of close passes between Billy, Jason, Tim and Greg opened up the net for Greg. Phil Verstappen replaced Danny in the Aces net but that didn't stop the Aces goals as Brian Worrall was on hand to turn in a shot/pass from Russ Richardson on the point. 31.16 was when the game's first penalty was called as Bradford's Canadian student, Stephen Northgate, sat a minor then came out of the box to collect a pass and slotted home past Phil from the left. Greg's next effort was stopped by a post but he was there to lift the rebound over the goalie. That goal took the score to 9-1 and Aces would score again just before the of the period whilst Nick Crawley was serving our only penalty of the game (2+2 for a high stick). Simon Mills skated round the back of the net and a couple of defencemen to pass in front for Arran to score.
10-1 became 11-1 thirteen seconds into the final period with Tim turning in Jason's shot. A minute later, Greg set up Billy from behind the net. Near halfway, Nick took the puck the length of the rink but his goalbound shot was stopped by the skates of a defenceman in the crease with the goalie beaten. Steve Daly turned in a shot from Tim at 51.00 as we had three goals in a minute with Nick's shot from the point being deflected in and then seven seconds later, good passing set up Luke for our last goal of the night. That wasn't the end of the scoring for the night though, Aaron Dad getting away on the break as the Aces were pushing forward and scoring top corner (although several people nearer the goal than me were sure it hit the bar).
A comfortable win that demoted Bradford to the bottom of the table and moved us up to third. Forgot to mention that the ref was Blaine Evans who let the game flow and deserved more protection from the former Bradford player abusing him than the Bradford rink gave him.
0-1 04.00 Hewitt from Allen and Mills
0-2 09.33 Elliott from Michie and Stretton
0-3 09.54 Price from Hewitt and Allen
0-4 24.55 Dempsey from Allen and Price
0-5 28.29 Michie from Stretton and Crawley
0-6 28.54 Hewitt from Price and Allen
0-7 29.44 Allen from Hewitt and Dempsey
0-8 30.50 Worrall from R Richardson
1-8 33.22 Northgate from Smith and Brown
1-9 34.16 Allen from Price
1-10 39.50 A Richardson from Worrall and Keelan SHG
1-11 40.13 Dempsey from Hewitt and Allen SHG
1-12 41.25 Price From Allen and Hewitt
1-13 51.00 Daly from A Richardson PPG
1-14 51.43 Crawley from Stretton
1-15 51.50 Stretton from Elliott and Michie
2-15 58.58 Dad from Penn
Tim Dempsey 2+1, Greg
Allen 2+6 (MoM), Russ Richardson 0+1, Steve Michie 1+2,
Brian Worrall 1+1, Nick Crawley 1+1, Jason Hewitt 2+4, Simon Mills 0+1,
Arran Richardson 1+1, Stephen Elliott 1+1, Billy Price 2+3, Luke Stretton 1+3,
Steve Daly 1+0, Phil Keelan 0+1, Kevin Cassidy,
Danny Higgin (29m 46s, 8s, 0g, 100%), Phil Verstappen (30m 14s, 12s, 2g, 83.33%),
SOG 20-80 PIMS 14-4