THE Basingstoke Bison won 5-4 at play-off rivals Bristol last Saturday, to extend their advantage over the Pitbulls to seven points, writes Graham Merry.

The Herd took the lead in the sixth minute as Zack Milton scored on the powerplay.

The home side levelled things early in the second session thanks to Nik Coric.

They were then given a great chance to take the lead as the Bison’s Tom Banner went to the sin bin for interference.

However, despite being shorthanded the Herd went on a scoring spree netting twice in 36 seconds.

Marcel Balaz got the first and then assisted man of the match George Norcliffe for the second.

Norcliffe and Balaz then combined as the Bison scored their third goal in as many minutes through Edgars Landsbergs to make it 4-1

Bristol gave themselves a lifeline before the second break as Bayley Harewood netted on the powerplay.

The final period saw Bristol’s man of the match Elliott Lewis make it 4-3 at 42:55.

The first penalty of the session was on the home side’s Ben Solder and it took the Bison just three seconds to convert from Gael Lubwele.

As the game entered the final three minutes, Lewis netted his second of the night.

This set up a tense finale, but with no further scoring the Bison took the points.

A delighted Bison head coach Ashley Tait said: “We played well and the two shorthanded goals put us in a strong position from which we dug in and got the win.”

On Sunday night, the Herd lost 4-1 at home to the table toppers the Leeds Knights.

The well drilled visitors took the first period 1-0 after Cole Shudra tapped in.

The second session saw a brace from Leeds’ man of the match Jake Witkowski, before the home fans had something to cheer about.

A lovely pass from Hallam Wilson released man of the match Landsbergs and he fired into the roof of the net with a clinical finish.

The final period saw the Herd have some good early chances before against the run of play the visitors broke out and Kieran Brown scored.

This proved to be the final goal of the game as the impressive Jordan Lawday kept the Leeds forwards at bay.

After the game, Tait said: “Leeds are a good team, but I felt we made it easy for them and did not give a good account of ourselves.”

This weekend, the Bison have a double-header encounter with the Peterborough Phantoms.

The first game is in Basingstoke on Saturday night (6.30pm) with the Sunday match in Cambridgeshire, which starts at 5.30pm.