THE Basingstoke Bison produced one of the best comebacks in the club’s history on Saturday night in Bristol, writes Graham Merry.

The Herd overturned a four-goal deficit with seven unanswered of their own for a 7-4 victory in their first-ever league visit to the Bristol Pitbulls.

However the first 20 minutes of the game certainly did not go to plan, as the home side raced to a 4-0 lead thanks to a brace of goals from their man of the match Luke Smital and single strikes for Owen Sobchak and Morgan Clarke-Pizzo.

At this point the Bison looked to be heading towards their 11th loss in a row, but by the end of the second period they had clawed their way back in the contest after goals from Gael Lubwele (2) and Alex Sampford.

The final session saw Zack Milton level things up and then a straight hat-trick from man of the match Marcel Balaz sealed the win. His first was an even handed goal, followed by a shorthanded strike and then an empty netter.

After the game Bison head coach Ashley Tait said: “Even if we were 4-0 down we did not play a bad first period. Some individual mistakes and a ridiculous bounce off the boards made it what it was.

“I knew we needed the next goal and I have to give the guys credit. I gave very specific instructions, made some changes and they took it on board and did what they had to do.”

The previous night at home to the high-flying Milton Keynes Lightning, the Bison were soundly beaten 8-1.

MK led 2-0 at the first break after goals from Rio Grinell-Parke and Deivids Sarkanis.

The Herd had their best spell of the game early in the second session and Milton pulled one back.

However, this woke up the MK forwards and their all-Brit line of Sam Talbot, Sean Norris and Jack Hopkins all scored one each to make it 5-1 by the second break.

The visitors then added three more in the final 20 minutes from James Griffin, Bobby Chamberlain, and Norris.

Bison’s man of the match went to defenceman Tom Banner.

This weekend the Herd have only one game which is at home to the Hull Seahawks on Saturday (6.30pm).

Last week, the club announced British forwards Ryan Sutton and Adrian Duzsnik had requested to leave the club for personal reasons and this was granted.