THE Basingstoke Bison lost to the visiting Peterborough Phantoms 5-4 on Saturday night.

The defeat leaves the Herd fourth, three points behind their Cambridgeshire rivals in third, with three games left in the season and it also means they lost the league series 5-3.

The Bison were minus defencemen Tom Ralph and Josh Kelly, along with forward Bayley Harewood for the clash.

The home side started the better, before the Phantoms had the puck in the net, but the goal was disallowed.

The Herd then took the lead at 16:02, as Adam Harding converted a pass from Alex Sampford.

The visitors levelled things a minute later, thanks to a blue line strike from Scott Robson.

The Herd had the first powerplay of the second period and Jordan Marr made some good stops to keep out Michal Klejna and Adam Jones.

The Herd then ran into penalty trouble as Jay King joined Liam Morris in the sin bin.

The Phantoms made the most of the two-man advantage as Petr Stepanek with nice wrist shot gave Peterborough the lead.

The home side replied a minute later, as man of the match George Norcliffe netted.

However, thanks to a shorthanded strike from Martins Susters, the Phantoms went in at the second buzzer leading 3-2.

The visitors then extended their lead to two goals after the officials eventually gave Peterborough their fourth goal of the evening, after much debate.

It was awarded to Robson, which was the second goal of the night for the defenceman.

The home side kept themselves in the contest, as defenceman Sam Smith scored his first goal of the season at 50:51, with a nice strike.

A minute later, the Bison had King dismissed for slashing, while Susters picked up two minutes for cross checking.

There were no goals in the first two minutes of four-on-four action, but then man of the match Glenn Billing added Peterborough’s fifth on the powerplay.

However, despite still being shorthanded the Bison pulled it back to 5-4 after Klejna picked off a stray pass and scored.

The Herd went all out for an equaliser, but Marr was equal to everything the home side threw at him.

With 57 seconds left, the home side pulled their netminder for the extra skater, but the Phantoms held on to win by a goal.

This evening, the Bison game away at the Hull Pirates has been postponed.