By Laurie Wiseman

The crowd chanted “Give us ten!” They gave us ten. Haringey demolished the Away team quickly and in an efficient manner, keeping a clean sheet and reaching double figures. Before the match, a minute of silence was observed before ‘God Save the King’ was played.

The first period was scrappy, both teams making mistakes in the opening five minutes. After only six minutes, Huskies Ryan Payne opened the scoring after the Basingstoke defence made a costly mistake, just seconds after they had had their penalty lifted. Basingstoke came close to scoring with a break away until their forward slipped on the wet ice, much to the relief (and humour) of the Haringey crowds. Huskies responded well and five minutes later Joe Willingham found the back of the net after the Buffalo made yet another defensive mistake, the puck slowly moving across the goal-line. Despite a power play, Basingstoke failed to convert, and the period ended 2-0 to Haringey, with shots 12 – 5 in Haringey’s favour after sustained pressure.

The second period started superbly for the Buffalo, Tom Adams being forced to make many of his unbelievable saves in the first five minutes after the interval. However, Haringey were on a mission and a flick of the wrist from Stephen Woodford took the pressure away instantly. From then on, Haringey shifted the pressure and kept the puck away from their defensive zone, despite being penalised twice. Then, with three minutes to spare, Bradley Taylor pulled off an extraordinary goal to put them four nil up before the break. From the edge of the offensive zone, he flicked it into the top left hand corner and there was nothing that the Basingstoke defence or netminder could do but watch helplessly.

The third period started well for the Huskies, getting a shot in the first five minutes. This followed through and Matt Hepburn finally got his reward after a night of superb skating just after a Basingstoke goal was disallowed by the referee. Then, in a rash mistake from Basingstoke, Haringey’s Marton Szasz found the back of the net barely five seconds after Matt Hepburn had his breakthrough. With physical play from both teams,( especially Basingstoke number 13, Compton) followed in a penalty in which Haringey extended their lead to seven after James Hepburn dummied twice and gave Haringey a skillful goal. Stuart Applebey found the back not many minutes later before James Hepburn scored once on a breakaway, flicking it past the netminder’s pad and yet again he scored short-handed to give the crowd what they wanted – a ten goal victory and to give him a hat trick. The game was ringed with fouls, Haringey committing five and Basingstoke twice being penalised. With two seconds to go, a Basingstoke player was awarded twenty-two minutes, two minutes for interference and two times ten minutes for verbal abuse of both referees.

The atmosphere was heated and three times security was brought after a group of fans were abusing the Basingstoke team. This was a disappointing end for what had been a marvellous evening. For me, the Hepburns with their fantastic skating and shooting, and Tom Adams with a stand out performance in goal were the best players tonight. In the end, it was Haringey who had a clear, unquestionable victory.

Photos: Phil Hutchinson