ALEX Sampford bagged himself a brace as the Basingstoke Bison won the first leg of their South Cup semi-final 4-3 in Swindon last night.

In a tight opening session, the Bison took a 1-0 lead thanks to a nice solo strike from George Norcliffe at 16:02.

The home side came out firing on all cylinders in the second period and Bison man of the match Alex Mettam had to be at his best.

Firstly against Max Birbraer with a super stop and then he denied Chris Jones.

Swindon did level things at 31:20 as Luc Johnson netted at the post after good work from Sam Jones and Floyd Taylor, but it took the Bison just 22 seconds to take the lead again, as Sampford fired into the roof of the net, assisted by Norcliffe and Richard Bordowski.

The same Herd player then added a third goal before the second buzzer as he found the top shelf again.

This time Elliott Dewey and Bordowski collected the helpers.

Within two minutes of the final period, Swindon’s Sam Bullas was sent to the sin bin by referee Stephen Matthews.

Disaster struck for the home side, as Jonas Hoog was released by Neil Liddiard and scored shorthanded.

However, the Bison restored their two-goal advantage on the same Bullas penalty, as Russ Cowley finished a move involving Michal Klejna and Ashley Tait.

Birbraer then set up a tense finale as he scored at 53:30 and then 26 seconds later, Swindon were given a great chance to level things as Klejna was sent to the sin bin for holding.

At the same time Tait was given a 10-minute misconduct penalty and took no further part in the game.

The Herd killed off the final penalty and saw out the final minutes to take the win.

The Bison will now hope to complete the job and book a place in the South Cup final this evening (5.30pm), when Swindon travel to Basingstoke.