THE Basingstoke Bison slipped out of the play-off slots after they lost 4-2 at home to the Raiders and suffered a 6-4 defeat away in Sheffield.

The Herd added Carl Graham to their defensive core as both Josh Kelly (injured) and Liam Morris (suspended) were missing.

In Saturday’s contest, the Raiders took the lead at 5:56 as former Bison captain Aaron Connolly scored with a superb top-corner strike.

The visitors then made it 2-0 as Jake Sylvester fired the puck into the roof of the net.

During the second session the Bison hauled themselves back into the contest, as George Norcliffe finished a nice move which also involved Zack Milton and Gael Lubwele.

However, three minutes later the Raiders restored their two goal lead after a nice breakaway goal from Sylvester.

The Herd once again reduced the lead to one as Edgars Landsbergs scored assisted by Milton and Norcliffe at 36:28.

This set up a tense start to the final session, but when Connolly skated out of the sin bin and scored to make it 4-2, the Raiders were able to control the game until the final buzzer.

On Sunday night in Sheffield, the Steeldogs certainly showed their bite in the first 20 minutes, as they scored four without reply.

The first two came on the powerplay netted by Jamie Spurr and Vladislavs Vulkanovs.

Jordan Buesa added number three, before a shorthanded marker from Matt Bissonnette made it 4-0.

Just 58 seconds into the second session, Buesa struck again. The Bison finally opened their account for the evening at 34:08 as Alex Sampford scored.

The opening goal of the final period went to the Steeldogs as Cameron Brownley made it 6-1, but after that all the scoring came from the visitors.

A powerplay brace from Brendan Baird assisted by Marcel Balaz and Hallam Wilson reduced the lead to three with 12 minutes left.

The advantage became two, six minutes later thanks to Lubwele, but after that a couple of Bison penalties stopped the Herd in their tracks, as they tried to close the gap and in the end Sheffield won 6-4.

The Herd man of the match went to teenage forward Roman Cathcart.

After the weekend, Bison head coach Ashley Tait said: “We didn’t deserve to win against the Raiders and again in Sheffield we deserved nothing, as 20 minutes does not make a game.”

The double loss last weekend leaves the Bison ninth in the league, two points behind Bristol, but they do have a game in hand.

This weekend, the Bison are at home to the second-placed Peterborough Phantoms on Saturday night (6.30pm).

Then on Sunday (5.15pm) they have the chance to avenge last weekend’s loss in Basingstoke, as they travel to Romford to take on the Raiders.

Tait said: “I don’t care who we play against, we have to work hard and do the basics well and everything else will follow. If we don’t start there then it will be yet another long evening.”