THE Basingstoke Bison suffered two defeats at the hands of the Raiders, losing at home 5-3 and then away 7-2, writes Graham Merry.

The Herd were minus forwards Hallam Wilson, Paul Petts and Aidan Doughty, so Buffalo forward Travis Penny was drafted in and once again Solent’s Jack Peacock suited up for the Bison.

The Bison wearing their special Pride jerseys made a super start as captain George Norcliffe made the most of a great pass from Alex Sampford to fire into the roof of the net in the eighth minute.

The advantage was doubled before the first break as Sampford finished a nice powerplay move.

The Raiders were the first to score after the interval from former Bison man Aaron Connolly at 24:25.

However, just 17 seconds later, the Herd made it 3-1 as Balaz netted from close range.

With five minutes left in the second session, the Bison suffered penalty troubles as Gail Lubwele picked up a five-minutes for elbows and Morris a 2+2.

This gave the Raiders a long period of a two-man advantage and they made the most of it as Ashley Jackson netted close in.

The home side held their lead until eight minutes from time, before the Raiders scored twice in the space of 77 seconds from Matthieu Gomercic and Harry Gulliver.

They completed the scoring thanks to an empty netter in the final minute from Connolly.

After the game Bison head coach Ashley Tait said: “I definitely thought the 5-on-3 was the turning point in the game. I fail to see how we go two men down on that play and it completely changed the flow and momentum of the game.”

The following night in Romford, the Raiders cruised to a 7-2 victory thanks to a brace each from Jackson and Alex Roberts, while Mikey Power, Gomercic and Connolly netted once.

The Bison goals came from Zack Milton and Norcliffe.

Herd netminder Jordan Lawday saved a penalty shot from Connolly, but was pulled after conceding a sixth goal and replaced by man of the match Alex Mettam, who was beaten just once in the final 35 minutes.

The Bison’s cause in Romford was also not helped when Balaz was dismissed for slew footing 17 minutes from time.

The club have already lodged an appeal to get the penalty overturned.”

Talking about the loss in Romford Tait said: “It was disappointing to have got ourselves back in the game, only to concede another goal soon after.”

This weekend, the Herd entertain the Hull Seahawks on Saturday (6.30pm) and then on Sunday (5pm) they travel to Slough to take on the Bees.