Late shows sting Bracknell Bees

Bracknell were edged out twice at the weekend (Pic by Kevin Slyfield)

Bracknell Bees suffered double disappointment with a pair of late defeats against rivals Basingstoke Bison at the weekend.

Bees were still missing a host of suspended stars for Saturday’s away clash but did welcome back Josh Martin from illness.

And the visitors started well, taking an early lead through Josh Smith to lead at the end of the first period. Martin doubled the tally soon after the restart, only for Bison to turn the game on its head and go 3-2 up ahead of the third stanza.

Tyler VanKleef levelled the game at 3-3, which is how it stayed even after overtime to force penalty shots.

A successful stroke from Smith sent the contest into sudden death and after VanKleef struck the post, Ashley Tait was on hand to give Basingstoke the narrowest of victories.

INTERVIEW: Sheppard insists there is time to save the season

Bracknell again started brightly in the reverse game at The Hive on Sunday.

Zack Milton put the hosts ahead but Bison responded to lead 2-1 going into the second through goals from Alex Sampford and Adam Harding.

The goals continued to flow after the restart with VanKleef netting twice to tie the game at 3-3 to set up an exciting third period.

And it took overtime again to separate the pair after the contest ended 4-4 with Aidan Doughty on the score-sheet for the hosts before Tait equalised in the final few seconds of regular time.

Basingstoke then completed the comeback to take victory courtesy of hat-trick hero Harding.

The regular season rounds off this weekend away at Swindon Wildcats on Saturday (6.15pm) before hosting London Raiders on Sunday (6pm) with Bees looking set to finish fourth in the table.

See an exclusive column from head coach Doug Sheppard in Thursday’s paper.

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