Fone injury blight on Phoenix victory in Swindon

Saturday, 28th November 2009

Swindon Wildcats 4 - 7 Manchester Phoenix

After going two goals behind early in the first period on Saturday night, Manchester Phoenix recovered and put in their usual strong second period to take the initiative and ultimately the points. A hat-trick from Ed Courtenay was overshadowed by a third period injury to netminder Steve Fone that makes him doubtful for Sunday's home game against Basingstoke.

A disappointing start for the travelling Phoenix and their support as the depleted Wildcats took a second minute lead, Richardson scoring off a pass from new signing Cassells. The early goal boosted the home side and they doubled their advantage in the seventh minute, Raimonds Danilics beating Fone to give the Phoenix a lot to think about. The first period was flying by with few stoppages and only one penalty called on the home side, an opportunity the Phoenix failed to capitalise on, but with the visitors dominating the play and possession. With just over two minutes remaining in the opening session, the Phoenix hit back as the 'old guard' of Tony Hand and Ed Courtenay made the plays for Adam Walker to net his fifteenth of the season reduce the arrears at the first interval.

Phoenix drew level just over four minutes into the second session as the home defence got in a terrible mess and with the goalie out of position that allowed Had to find Ed Courtenay for the simple finish into the unguarded net. The Phoenix top line of forwards was now firing on all cylinders and four minutes later, they took their first lead of the game as Walker and Hand bagged the assists on the second of the game for leading scorer Courtenay blasting home from the blueline. Swindon used their timeout to try and calm things down as the Phoenix looked capable of running away with the game. The ploy failed as straight from the restart, defenceman Andre Mattsson made if 4-2 to the Phoenix, Hand and Courtenay again the providers. Swindon hit back just before the half hour mark, Sam Bullas beating Steven Fone with high shot that evaded the goalies glove hand. Phoenix killed a penalty against Iain Bowie before regaining a two-goal lead, Jaakko Hagelberg the scorer assisted by Greg Wood and Courtenay.

Phoenix went into the final period looking to secure the points and quash any thoughts of a Wildcats fightback. And just four minutes into the session, Andre Payette gave them a three-goal margin assisted by Greg Wood. Ed Courtenay duly completed his personal hat-trick to give the Phoenix a four goal lead, but an injury to Steven Fone with ten minutes remaining saw Adam Summerfield take over in goal. The Congleton-based 'keeper made two quick saves, but was unlucky when a spilled glove save on a shot from Danilics bounced past him off Andre Mattson in the 52nd minute. Swindon threw everything they could manage at the Phoenix back-up, but Summerfield stayed calm and that allowed the visitors to claim their second win of the season in Swindon.

Phoenix player coach Tony Hand commented, "The injury to Foney is disappointing and we won't know till sometime on Sunday how bad it is. Young Adam played the last twelve minutes and did well, so he'll almost certainly start on Sunday. It'll be a big game for him, but I know our fans will get right behind him. Apart from that, I thought we played a good road game tonight, it was a little tense at times, but once we got our noses in front, we took control and got the job done."

Steve Fone

Steve Fone was injured in the third period.

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