NETMINDER Alex Mettam was the Basingstoke Bison’s penalty shoot-out hero as the Herd beat bitter local rivals the Bees 5-4 last Saturday, writes Graham Merry.

The derby clash was a fierce contest from start to finish and it only took four minutes for it to boil over as the Bison's Marcel Mitchell and Josh Smith traded blows.

The Herd took a deserved lead at12:34 from Zack Milton as he netted his own rebound.

The Bison added a second from man of the match George Norcliffe after great spade work from Alex Sampford.

The Bees hauled themselves back into the contest just six seconds before the first buzzer as Dominik Gabaj fed Brendon Walkom to score.

The Herd opened the second period with a host of chances, but the Bees weathered the storm and Ryan Webb levelled things.

The visitors then took the lead at 36:31 as Harry Harcup scored from close range.

Just 50 seconds later the Bison equalised as Norcliffe squeezed the puck in at the post.

The last action of the period saw a fight between Bees JJ Pitchley and Jay King.

The Herd took the lead in the final session, after a blue line shot from Brendan Baird took a wicked deflection which gave Matt Smital no chance.

The Bees levelled three minutes later as a poor line change allowed Walkom the chance to pick his spot from the blue line.

With no further scoring the game went into overtime and Smital produced two top class saves to deny Milton and Norcliffe to send the game to a shoot-out.

The Bees were first to go and Juha Lindgren scored.

This was followed by misses from Milton and Walkom, before Gael Lubwele levelled things.

The Bees’ Gabaj was next to shoot and scored, but had moved the puck backwards before hitting the net, meaning it should have been ruled out.

What followed was a real farce as the officials tried to decide what to do and in the end they decided Gabaj could take his penalty shot again.

Much to the delight of the home fans Mettam forced him to miss the target.

However, the Bison were unable to take advantage as Marcel Balaz failed to convert, before Smith and Edgars Landsbergs both scored.

Dan Rose then saw his shot saved which gave Norcliffe the chance to win the game, but Smital denied him.

So the shoot-out went to sudden death meaning the Bison shot first and Lubwele scored his second of the night.

Mettam then kept out Lindgren’s effort, so the Bison could celebrate an excellent win.

Head coach Ashley Tait said: “I felt we played well overall and deserved the two points.”

On Sunday night in Telford the Herd lost 9-3 as man of the match Hallam Wilson scored a brace and Lubwele netted the other.

This weekend, the Herd have a triple header with away trips to Swindon (Friday) and Bristol (Saturday), before a home game against the Raiders on Sunday (5.30pm).