THE Basingstoke Bison dished up an early Christmas cracker as they came back from 3-0 down, to beat the visiting league leaders the Peterborough Phantoms 4-3 after a penalty shoot-out.

The visiting Phantoms got off to a dream start as they scored after 90 seconds, with their first attack.

Man of the match Martin Susters skated down the left wing and fired on goal. This was saved by the pads of Alex Mettam, but James White netted the rebound.

The first penalty of the night saw the Bison so nearly score shorthanded, but Russ Cowley’s effort from a Richard Bordowski cross was padded away.

Seconds later, Peterborough struck on the powerplay, thanks to a crisp shot from the top of the circle from Petr Stepanek.

At this point the Herd called a time-out and after this Cowley, Paul Petts and George Norcliffe all tested Peterborough goalie Jordan Marr.

Ales Padelek was denied by Mettam, who also had to be at his best to save from Will Weedon shorthanded late in the period.

The second session was a real battle with few clear-cut chances, but the Phantoms did manage to extend their lead to 3-0.

This was thanks to an early Christmas present from the home side. Both defencemen decided to change at the same time and this left Nathan Pollard to skate into the Herd end zone alone and pick his spot.

At this point the hopes of the Bison beating the Phantoms for the first time this season looked to have vanished.

However, at your peril do you write the Bison off. Having switched around their forward lines they had the better of the final 20 minutes.

They finally got on the scoreboard at 53:15, as man of the match Alex Sampford slotted home, after good work from Michal Klejna and the lively Oscar Evans.

The home crowd had barely finished celebrating the first goal when Hallam Wilson skated down the right wing and fired in on net and Norcliffe put away the rebound.

Suddenly it was game on, but surely, they could not find a game tying goal with only five minutes to play?

Yes, they could. With just over two minutes left, Peterborough captain James Ferrara picked up a penalty and the Herd took their chance to level the game, as Cowley redirected a shot from Ashley Tait at the blue line.

This sent the home fans wild and the game into overtime.

The Bison had the first two chances in the five-minute extra period from Richard Bordowski and Sampford.

Peterborough then finished overtime the stronger as Mettam made a save from Ferrara with only 24 seconds left.

With no goal scored the match was decided by penalties with Bordowski the first to shoot, but it was saved.

Stepanek then went first for Peterborough and failed to find the net.

Michal Klejna was next to try his luck and much to the delight of the Bison faithful he scored.

Padelek was next up for the Phantoms, but he fired wide of the target.

This meant Tait could win the game with the third Bison shot.

He skated in on Marr and lifted the puck over him and via the ping of the post, the puck dropped into the back of the net to complete a memorable victory, which moved the Herd to third in the standings.

After the game player/coach Tait said: “Not for the first time this season we have made a third period comeback, but we can’t keep doing this, as we eventually we will run out of lives.

“I hope that beating what is a well coached team, will give the guys the belief they need going forward.”

The Bison are in action this evening when they travel to Streatham.