ALTRINCHAM ACES 6-2 BLACKBURN HAWKS 6 OCTOBER 2002
Aces were home to Blackburn in the Northern Cup. Aces would be without the suspended Arran Richardson (3 of 3) but Jason Hewitt was back and the Aces new home shirts had also found their way in.
Billy Price had an early chance saved by the (as usual) on form Colin Downie, as it quickly became a matter of Aces pressure without the Hawks showing too much in front of goal. Aces had a goal disallowed and Luke Stretton forced a good save from Downie at the second attempt. Greg Allen sat a 2+10 for checking from behind in a retaliation. The period ended scoreless with Phil Verstappen denying David Sheffield towards the end.
The second period saw Aces take an early lead after Phil Verstappen stopped a Bobby Haig break. Jason Hewitt had his shot saved for Greg Allen to latch onto the rebound and put the puck just inside the post. Gordon Whyte was stopped on another break before Hawks equalized in controversial fashion. Referee Blaine Evans had penalised Jason Hewitt for colliding with the goalie under a challenge in the first period but when Craig Sharman did virtually the same as the puck went into the net, the goal stood and Kevin Cassidy disappeared into the box. With the referee now starting to call Blackburn penalties, Aces took the lead when Brian Worrall converted a rebound after Billy Price's shot was saved. We added to our lead with a powerplay goal with Billy Price opening up the net with a pass to Greg Allen to score into the empty net.
Aces fourth arrived at 41.20 on the powerplay when Jason Hewitt netted the rebound after a Simon Mills shot from the right was saved. Blackburn quickly pulled one back with a powerplay Kebab special as Bobby Haig put a breakaway chance through Phil's 5 hole. The game which had been simmering, erupted at 46.10 after Russ Richardson had been forced into Colin Downie with Downie collecting an accidental high stick in his neck. Three Hawks including Downie jumped on Russ and Wes Barnett decided to give Jason a hiding. Jamie Thomson and Russ disappeared with 5 + games for fighting, with Downie escaping with only a couple of minors and Barnett was lucky to just get a Game. Aces scored on the resultant powerplay with Greg Allen tipping it in. Chris Black disappeared for kneeing on his second low challenge of the night and Aces finished the scoring when Billy Price slotted home inside the post.
A good first win for the Aces with Jason Hewitt a deserved man of the match on his return to the team. Hawks' apparent good form wasn't in evidence.
1-0 23.48 Allen from Hewitt and Price
1-1 25.20 Sharman from Black
2-1 33.38 Worrall from Price
3-1 36.44 Allen from Hewitt and Price PPG
4-1 41.20 Hewitt from Mills and Price PPG
4-2 43.41 Haig from Black PPG
5-2 46.54 Allen from Price PPG
6-2 53.46 Price from Hewitt and Allen PPG
Kevin Cassidy, Greg Allen
3+1,Russ Richardson, Phil Keelan, Steve Michie,Brian Worrall 1+0,
Jason Hewitt 1+3 (MoM), Simon Mills 0+1, Stephen Elliott, Luke Stretton, Steve Daly,
Billy Price 1+5,
Phil Verstappen (53m 7s, 20s, 2g, 90%), Danny Higgin (6m 53s, 2s, 0g, 100%)
SOG 43-22 Pens 61-98