Metros 3 - 3 Solihull Barons
After the high of beating second placed team, the Whitley Warriors, in Altrincham last Sunday, the Mets started in the same vein against the bottom side, Solihull Barons, in the Dome on Saturday. Before three minutes had elapsed the Mets were two goals to the good through Robyn Crebbin and John Murray. Before ten minutes passed the lead was 3 - 0 courtesy of with Tom Gilbert's first goal in a Trafford shirt. The garden was beginning to look rather rosy: One more goal by Trafford could have finished the game as a contest. However, the Barons hadn't read the script and knocked the smiles off the boys faces forcing odd-man rushes and replying twice (Ayers and Richard Slater) before the end of the period. The muted Trafford team that had played at Coventry a week earlier seemed to have replaced the confident outfit that started this game.
Solihull's White equalised late in the second before the home side found their pace once more. However, they were unable to get the puck passed the outstanding Sam Hewitt in the Solihull net. Several time Mets' coach, Paul Bayliss was heard to say "By golly I thought we'd scored then". Or words that meant something like that.
Sean Day's continued great work and assist earned him the Mets' Man of the Match. Three all was just reward for the Midlanders refusal to accept the relative positions in the league but scant reward for the Mets' start and third period resurgence.
Robyn Crebbin 1 +0, Tom Gilbert 1 +0, John Murray 1 + 0, Ben Brown 0 + 1, Sean Day 0 + 1, Jake Nurse 0 + 1, Alex Pugh 0 + 1, Tom Revesz 0 + 1.
Penalty minutes: Mets: 2, Solihull:12
Shots on Goal: On Maudsley (Mets): 23, On Hewitt (Solihull): 47
Sheffield Spartans 4 - 6 Metros
On Sunday we travelled to Sheffield to face the Spartans. Sheffield is a place that none of us can remember winning a senior fixture. As the previous day, we started well getting to one nil mid-way through the first period courtesy of Ollie Bayne. Laxity allowed odd-man rushes and the home side tied the score through Unwin with a little over five minutes remaining in the period. Smith took Sheffield into the lead with 60 seconds left on the clock and the Mets left the ice 2 - 1 down wondering if the Sheffield hoodoo was striking again.
The team talk during the interval did the trick. The Mets came back strongly to take the second period 3 - 1 to head off the ice with a precarious one goal lead. Mets' Man of the Match, John Murray joined with line-mates Sean Day and Jake Nurse to add a couple of well worked goals. These bracketed significant air-borne puck activity in the Spartans crease area culminating in Tom Revesz getting his marker. Eight minutes into the period and the team was 4 - 2 to the good. Yet again the Spartans scored as the period was closing (Ollie Barron) leaving the game delicately poised for the final 20 minutes.
Jake Nurse added his own name to the scoring list with after seven minutes of the period. Yet again Sheffield managed a rush to pull the one back (Manning) leaving the whole rink watching the clock tick down with the Mets leading 5 - 4 and the final five minutes looming. Whilst Trafford didn't appear to be going to lose, as we all know, a couple of goals can be scored in as many minutes. With under two minutes to go, following a Trafford icing, Sheffield pulled their goalie. The Mets couldn't change any players and were starting to tire. A couple more icings were given up before we got a whistle with around 30 seconds left. A fresh batch of defenders came on but was penned into the Metros' end until Sean Day picked up a loose puck, fired it the full length of the ice, and scored his first goal back with the Metros and sealing a 6 - 4 win with 10 seconds remaining.
The first win in Sheffield for all of us, including Coach Bayliss.Probably a deserved win particularly only for the way the team held its concentration for the final ten minutes of the game and the pressure of the last two. It was a decidedly noisy and happy bunch of players in the Metros' room after the game.
Sean Day 1 + 3, John Murray 2 + 1, Jake Nurse 1 + 2, Tom Revesz 1 + 1, Ollie Bayne 1 + 0, Jamie Rogerson 0 + 1.
Next Sunday the Mets have a chance to avenge Saturday's draw when we go back to Solihull for the final meeting between the two for this season. The guys are certain to be completely ready for this. These two points could be critical in the chase for a play-off place.