In-form Peterborough Phantoms capitalised on Milton Keynes Lightning’s slump to inflict a disappointing 6-2 defeat at Bretton on Sunday with three second period goals turning the course of the game.
Despite their lowly sixth position, Phantoms are one of the form teams at present with a record matching league champions Telford Tigers of four victories from their last five outings. So it was perhaps little surprise that they continued their winning ways against a Lightning side that have lost all but one of their last six encounters.
Coach Lewis Clifford will be looking for his charges to build up some momentum going into the play-offs but that will be difficult with the final two league games against a Bees team that will be desperately seeking to secure the final post-season group place and a last day trip to Tigers.
Liam Stewart returned to the line up after absence the previous night to earn the man of the match award with a hard working performance but that was one of the few bright spots.
Former Milton Keynes player Glenn Billing opened the scoring for Peterborough, aided by Duncan Speirs and Ales Padelek, on 6mins 51secs. There was a quick response from the visitors when Sean Norris registered unassisted exactly a minute later.
MK saw off a holding penalty on Lewis Christie in the 11th minute and going into the final minute of the period it looked as though the two combatants would go to the changing rooms level pegging. That was until Padelek set up Speirs to fire past goalie Brandon Stones with 41 seconds remaining.
The middle session was 1min 46secs old when another former Lightning man Luc Johnson made the pass for Jasper Foster to stretch Phantoms’ lead to two goals.
The game began to slip away from Lightning even further thanks to a pair of penalties on Bobby Chamberlain. The first, a roughing call at 28mins 36secs, resulted in a powerplay strike from Petr Stepanek – Nathan Salem and Callum Buglass involved in the build-up.
When Chamberlain was sin binned for a second time in the 34th minute the hosts were able to make the most of it again as Jarvis Hunt became Phantoms’ fifth separate scorer of the night at 35mins 53secs.
At 5-1 going into the final session, Phantoms looked on course for a win but there was a glimmer of hope for MK when Chamberlain and Adam Laishram were involved in the build up to captain Russ Cowley’s marker at 41mins 38secs.
Unfortunately that spark was quickly extinguished when Buglass set up Speirs for his second and Phantoms’ sixth goal on 42mins 54secs. That put paid to any fightback by the travellers.
Matt Smital replaced Stones in between the pipes with no further score during the final 17 minutes or so.
Man of the match: Liam Stewart.