Two late Sam Talbot goals earned Milton Keynes Lightning maximum National League points at the Sapphire Centre on Sunday after the team came back from 3-2 down to win 4-3 against Raiders.

There was never more than a goal separating the two combatants with the visitors unable to make anything of a seventh minute penalty on Tommy Huggett for tripping. Lightning then slipped behind while short-handed as Tyler Nixon, on loan from Sheffield Scimitars, was in the sin for hooking. A one timer from Jake Sylvester gave goalie Brandon Stones no chance with 3mins 14secs left of the first period.

MK’s response was quick – less than two minutes later at 17mins 59secs man of the match Liam Stewart struck from Adam Laishram’s set up to equalise. However, it was Raiders who had the last shout of the session when Sam Cooper supplied Aaron Connolly at 18mins 24secsto give the home outfit a 2-1 advantage at the first break.

Lightning twice had to defend short-handed spells early in the second period – Leigh Jamieson for slashing and Stewart for delaying the game before the latter made amends with a delayed penalty leveller on 35mins 27secs – tipping in a Bobby Chamberlain shot from a Laishram pass.

The goal came after Stones took a shot to the head, twice requiring treatment before he was unable to start the third session – back-up Matt Smital taking his place.

There was no joy for MK when Raiders’ Jacob Ranson was sent to the sin bin for holding five minutes into the final period. It was a missed opportunity that looked to be costly when the hosts capitalised with a man advantage while Callum Field was side-lined for boarding. Within seconds, at 51mins 41secs, Connolly registered for a second time, the puck creeping past Smital and the helpers going to Dan Scott and Sylvester to put MK 3-2 behind.

Once more there was swift answer from Lightning when Talbot took Chamberlain’s pass from Sean Norris with 7mins 44secs remaining to put the scores all square once again. Eventually it was a second Talbot strike that settled the points at 57mins 47secs, finishing off a move again also involving Chamberlain and Norris, to ensure another four point weekend for Lewis Clifford’s men.

Man of the match: Liam Stewart.

Official Game Sheet