THE Basingstoke Bison produced one of their best wins of the season as they came back from 3-0 down with four minutes to play sending the game into overtime beating the visiting Raiders 4-3.

The Bison started much the better in Saturday’s contest, but it was the visitors from Romford who took the lead against the run of play.

A great pass from former Bison captain Aaron Connolly released Brandon Aycliffe to skate in on goal and score at 7:59.

The home side continued to have the better of the opening session, despite them conceding two powerplays, the second one being a laughable slashing call on Ryan Sutton by Tom Stephenson, as the Bison player had been dumped to the ice.

As the session came to an end visiting man of the match Ethan James made several excellent saves to keep his side’s lead going in at the first break.

The second session was a more even affair with both sides going close, before the game turned ugly at 35:06.

A clean hit by Michal Klejna on Aycliffe on the boards, saw Callum Wells take exception to it and he flew at Klejna crashing him into the boards. This sparked a skirmish at the Bison bench door.

Mason Webster decided to wade in and grabbed Klejna’s face mask, while Josh Kelly got involved in a fight with Wells.

Eventually the players were parted, and two Raiders players Wells and Webster headed off to the sin bin.

After a lengthy discussion between the officials they proceeded to dish out 80 minutes in penalties.

Wells was given a match for fighting plus 2+10 for checking to the head, Webster 2+2 for fighting and teammate Jack Flynn a 10-minute misconduct penalty.

Much to the horror of the home fans, Klejna was also given a match penalty for slew-footing and 2+2 for fighting.

The referees’ interpretation left a lot to be desired on what was another very poor night of officiating from the same pair that were not much better the week before.

Klejna’s hit on the boards did not look like a penalty and to be deemed to be fighting, he had to have thrown some punches, which he never did.

The Slovak unimpressed headed to the dressing room and took no further part in the game.

The Raiders then doubled their lead in very fortunate circumstances as Aycliffe’s shot deflected in off Jay King, leaving netminder Alex Mettam no chance.

The final period saw Bison’s George Norcliffe denied twice early on, while Mettam kept out efforts from Connolly and Lukas Sladkovsky.

Ashley Tait then had a couple of chances, but James was in inspired form and kept them out and it seemed the home side were never going to find a way through.

Their chance of winning the game looked to have vanished as 49:43 as a lovely pass from Olegs Lascenko saw Aycliffe with a nice back hand finish net his hat-trick.

At this point the Bison called a time out and went chasing the game, but James still stood firm in the Raiders’ net.

As the game entered its final four minutes, the visitors came so close to adding a fourth goal shorthanded as Aycliffe set-up Erik Piatak, but his shot clearly came off the post.

However being only 10 ft away, referee Stephenson still had to stop the game to check with the goal judge whether it hit the post. With the way the evening was going it would have been no surprise if the goal had been given!

However, seconds later, the Bison opened their account as Ryan Sutton and George Norcliffe combined for man of the match Tait to score at the back post.

Within a minute, on a delayed penalty Mettam skated to the home bench and Tait replaced him which gave the Bison six skaters.

Liam Morris did really well to keep hold of the puck as Tait skated into the end zone and a great pass from him found an unmarked Jay King, who hammered the puck home to make it 3-2 at 57:08.

The Bison now piled on the pressure looking for an equaliser and with 30 seconds left Mettam was pulled for the extra skater.

Just when it looked like time would run out a great cross from Richard Bordowski was put away by Tait for the equaliser, with just 2.1 seconds left.

The home crowd rose from their seats in unison to celebrate the goal.

It was the Herd who had the first attack in overtime, with Bordowski skating in on the Raiders goalie who struck out his pad to make the save and the Bison player fell over it.

To the disbelief of the home fans the Bison were given a penalty as the import was penalised for goalie interference by referee Richard Belfitt.

This was met first with a chorus of boos before the chant of ‘You don’t know what you’re doing’ rang out around the arena.

This left the Bison having to kill a powerplay which they did really well and then with 1:36 left, the Raiders picked up a penalty giving the Herd a powerplay.

During the man advantage Norris tipped a Tait blue liner just wide and then Adam Jones drilled the puck into the chest of James.

Just as it looked like the game would go to penalty shots, Bordowski buried the puck at the back post from a Tait pass with 1.6 seconds left.

This was greeted by the biggest cheer of the night - if not the season and ended a game which will live long in the memory of the Bison faithful.

Bison player/coach Tait said: “They came with a game plan and executed it well for the first 40 minutes. Once we got going in the third I felt we could come back.

“It was not a good night for the officials to say the least. Michal’s penalty should not have been called and we have now lost him for the Bracknell game, even if the appeal goes our way.”

This evening, the Bison are in action against the Bracknell Bees and will be without the suspended Klejna.