Brebant satisfied with Vipers tie

Saturday, 29th November 2003

Manchester Phoenix tied 4-4 with the Newcastle Vipers last night in Deeside and head coach Rick Brebant declared himself satisfied with the overall outcome of the two challenge games against the FBNL outfit.

“Having played on Thursday in Cardiff,” he noted, “but not playing again till Friday, it was vital that we included something a little more competitive than just practise. That’s why when Newcastle contacted us, we were more than willing to play these two games – it helped both clubs as they wanted something too ahead of their game against Bracknell.”

Vipers jumped out to a two-goal lead in the first period with markers from Stephen Wallace and Jonathon Weaver before Phoenix hit back in the second session through Marc Lovell, with his maiden goal for the club, and a powerplay goal from David Kozier. After Matt Beveridge gave the Vipers the lead again in the 49th minute, Phoenix struck with deadly precision as Mike Lankshear and captain George Awada both netted in the space of 38 seconds to put the ‘home’ side ahead. An entertaining game was completed as GB International and former Manchester favourite Jonathon Weaver scored a superb individualist goal to tie the scores at 4-4.

Brebant added, “It was a good exercise, we were able to change the lines around, give our local players a lot of ice time and Dave Clancy got another good 60 minutes under his belt in goal. We hung him out to dry a little as we looked for goals and he responded with some excellent saves. It was good for Marc Lovell to score his first goal on a nice pass from Jason Hewitt.”

The Phoenix squad will be in full training this week as they prepare for their first home game in a month next Friday when the Basingstoke Bison are the visitors to the MEN Arena. “It’s a big game for the club,” remarked spokesman Andy Costigan. “We’re at home for the first time in a month and we want to put on a show for the fans who’ve not seen us on the road – and a win will keep us on the heels of Coventry who we travel to next Sunday.”