High-flying Jets too strong for Phoenix

Monday, 26th October 2009

Manchester Phoenix 1 - 6 Slough Jets

Manchester Phoenix player coach Tony Hand offered no excuses on Sunday night after his side crashed at home against a powerful and confident Slough Jets outfit. Phoenix who themselves had scored six on Saturday, saw six goals again, but this time on the wrong side of the scoreboard as the Jets took the points back south.

Hand noted, "It's always disappointing when you lose and particularly when you lose at home, but I give all the credit to Slough tonight. There were quicker to the puck, won most of the 50-50 battles and they took their chances. We were second best too often and on a night like this, we just have to accept the fact that the better team won on the night."

He continued, "We'll analyse the video of tonight and break it down so that we all learn collectively and individually where things went wrong. Now is not the time for over-reaction or histrionics, we need to address the breakdowns and work harder at making sure they don't become bad habits. We need a couple of guys to shake off the bug that's hit the room the past couple of weeks and we need to get smarter in certain game situations that have cost us goals at key times.

"It's a long season and I remain confident that we can still be there or thereabouts come the business end of the season. We've got a lot of young guys on the team and they need to be coached and coaxed, not screamed at. We saw tonight that Slough have a squad that has good overall experience and strength, and that was what won them the game tonight."

The opening period has seen both teams play at speed and Slough in particular determined to make their mark as they finished every check and played the body well. Despite ten shots apiece, neither goalie was unduly tested and a blank score at the first interval was a fair reflection.

The second session saw Slough take control as Joe Greener gave the visitors the lead and Blaz Emersic added a brace. The killer goal came with just 36 seconds on the second period as Peter Poljacek capitalised to give the Jets a four-goal spread at the second break.

The final session saw the Jets go nap with Ciaran Long netting their fifth marker before Phoenix fans finally had something to cheer when Ed Courtenay took a pass from Tony Hand to finish emphatically to prevent Jets Gregg Rockman from posting a shutout. Slough though rubber-stamped their deserved victory, Daniel Davies firing their sixth with a little less than eight minutes to play.