DAN Weller-Evans back stopped the Basingstoke Bison to victory in his first league start of the season, as they beat the visiting Milton Keynes Lightning in a game sponsored by the Basingstoke Gazette.

The Herd gave a debut to Czech Republic import Marek Malinsky as injury cover for Richard Bordowski, while Michael Klejna was also missing and hopefully will back next weekend.

It was Bison man of the match Weller-Evans who kept his side in the game early on, as MK certainly started the better.

This was helped by an early powerplay as Leigh Jamieson tested him twice with shots from the blue line, while Rio Grinell-Parke and Halden Barnes-Gardner were denied close in.

The visitors continued to have the upper hand and opened the scoring at 11:12, as Tom Carlon found a way through the pads of Weller-Evans.

This seemed to wake-up the home side and the Bison levelled things on their first powerplay of the night.

Liam Morris with a shot from the blue line was padded away by MK man of the match Brandon Stones and in the ensuing goal mouth scramble Alex Sampford scored. The other assist went to debut boy Malinsky.

The visitors then had a great chance to take the lead as Ari Narhi broke away, but his back-hand shot was saved.

Then with 6.9 seconds left in first period, the Herd took the lead as Sampford’s shot came off the pads of Stones and George Norcliffe netted the rebound.

The second session saw the Bison’s Sam Talbot hit the crossbar in the opening two minutes.

MK then suffered penalty trouble, but the home side despite being camped in their end zone were unable to find the net.

The closest they came was from Ryan Sutton, whose shot hit the crossbar.

A few minutes later, a bad hit on Liam Morris by Ross Green sparked a scrum in the corner and the outcome was that both Green and Carlon were sent to the sin bin.

This gave the Bison a full two minutes of a two-man advantage and despite a good period of pressure they were unable to convert, and it remained 2-1 at the second interval.

The final period saw the visitors come looking for an equaliser and Calum Robertson was denied at the post by Weller-Evans.

However, on 49:49 a stray back pass allowed Narhi to score from the slot to tie the game up.

After this it was a game of few chances with Talbot testing Stones twice and then Weller-Evans making a save to stop Narhi scoring a late winner.

At 60 minutes the score was still 2-2, so the game went into overtime.

The home side had the better of it as Sutton went close twice, before Adam Harding scored the winner with a lovely shot into the top corner assisted by Ashley Tait and Malinsky at 61:49.

This evening the Bison are in action in Peterborough in a game which has a 5.30pm face-off