THE Basingstoke Bison maintained their perfect home start to the season, as they beat their local rivals the Bracknell Bees 4-2 on Saturday night.

The home side were minus the injured Oscar Evans, while the Bees were without Ivan Antonov and Robin Kovar.

The Herd were soon in control of the contest, as they opened the scoring in the sixth minute.

Jay King and Hallam Wilson combined which allowed player/coach Ashley Tait to cut in from the left wing and he fired past Adam Goss.

The home side doubled their advantage at 16:56 on the powerplay as Adam Jones found Tait and his pass to the post saw George Norcliffe denied at the first attempt, but not the second.

The Bison deserved their two-goal lead at the break and could have added a third just after the re-start, as a lovely feed from Michael Klejna saw Adam Harding’s effort deflected over.

Soon after, a puck flew out over the home bench where back-up netminder Dan Weller-Evans expertly caught it, much to the delight of the home fans.

The Herd continued to dominate in the Bees zone, but back to the wall defending and solid netminding saw few clear-cut chances.

The visitors finally got up to the other end of the ice with Louis Colvin being denied and then on 28:18, former Bison import Roman Malinik managed to break clear and score for the Bees.

The visitors were then given a powerplay and they made full use of it, as Malinik fired in from the blue line to level the score.

The home side hit straight back as a superb solo skate from Alex Sampford around the Bees’ end zone, saw him feed Richard Bordowski in the slot at 33:03.

As the period ended, Bordowski went close shorthanded, while Bracknell man of the match Ryan Webb was denied by a good save by Alex Mettam.

The final period started with the Bison bossing it once more and man of the match Ryan Sutton was twice denied with back hand shots in the space of 39 seconds.

The home side then extended their lead to two, as Tait fired home with an excellent wrist shot at 45:23.

Within a minute, Norcliffe forced Goss into a great double stop.

Malinik was denied first by a good pad save from Mettam and then by the pipework with the Bees on the powerplay.

The Herd replied and went close shorthanded, after Harding stole the puck off Edward Knaggs and skated away, but Goss made the stop.

Sutton and Bees’ captain Stuart Mogg swapped chances, before Tait nearly grabbed his hat-trick goal 69 seconds from the end of the contest, but only found the pads of Goss.

After the game Bison player/coach Ashley Tait said: “I asked for a response from the players after the Raiders defeat and I got that this evening.

“We played with a lot more structure. We dug deep when they levelled and got ourselves back in front.”

This evening (5.30pm), the Herd are in action at Peterborough.