Basingstoke Bison taking nothing for granted ahead of tonight's EPL Cup final second leg

Basingstoke Gazette: Ciaran Long celebrates his goal in the EPL Cup semi-final. Ciaran Long celebrates his goal in the EPL Cup semi-final.

BASINGSTOKE Bison will be out to secure silverware tonight by winning the English Premier League Cup in front of their home fans.

The Herd hold a three-goal advantage going into tonight’s second leg against Milton Keynes Lightning which starts at 7.45pm.

A bumper crowd is expected to pack into the Basingstoke Arena to cheer their heroes to victory – and many fans made the trip to Coventry last week for the first-leg encounter.

The match was an even affair for the first 20 minutes as the sides swapped goals, with Bison’s Andy Melachrino’s strike being cancelled out by a Blaz Emersic reply.

The game was then won by the Herd in a super second session, as the visitors netted three times from Miroslav Vantroba, Melachrino again and Ciaran Long.

With no further goals in the final 20 minutes of the game, the Bison will hope the three-goal cushion will be enough to help them end 14 years of hurt and lift a trophy in their 25th anniversary season.

The victory in Coventry was the Bison’s seventh on the trot, but their winning streak came to an end on Saturday as they lost 5-2 to Swindon.

The Herd, who will look to bounce back to winning ways tonight, have beaten the Lightning in the last two outings. However, Bison player/coach Doug Sheppard is taking nothing for granted.

He said: “We have put ourselves in a good position, and we now have to finish the job.

“We know as a team, we did not play well against Swindon on Saturday. We have to forget about that and get back to the way we were playing before.”

Follow Graham Merry’s live online match night report from tonight’s big game at basingstokegazette.co.uk/sport

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