FOOTBALL: Jovetic gives the Reds the away day Blues


Two goals from Montenegro striker Stevan Jovetic helped Champions Manchester City stay unbeaten in the league with a victory over their title rivals last year in Liverpool, with Manuel Pellegrini side coming out on top 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium with a convincing win.

The game saw summer signing Fernando handed his full home league debut for the Blues, with the Manchester weather welcoming him to the club in what was very wet conditions for all 22 on the field.
City looked to kick on from their 2-0 win up at Newcastle on the opening day, with a much stiffer test upcoming in Brendan Rogers Liverpool side in which had seen a few changes themselves since the end of last season.

The biggest name missing from the Merseyside team sheet from last year was one Luis Suarez, which saw the Uruguayan striker sold in the summer to Barcelona after his infamous biting incident during the recent World Cup in Brazil.
Liverpool have been one of if not the busiest teams in the transfer market this summer and shown they weren`t afraid to splash the cash either, with signings of Southampton trio Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren and Ricky Lambert coming Anfield. 
The game came also on the back of the newest recruit at Anfield in former City striker, Mario Balotelli. Ballotelli watched the match from the directors box and judged on what he saw he must have had mixed feeling to viewing his new team mates in the game.

 In the first ten minutes of the game, it saw the home side in charge without really creating too many clear cut chances and saw Edin Dzeko drag his effort wide of the target after some good build up play that caught the visitors out.
Liverpool then forced their way into the contest with them starting to dictate the game to their own play. Raheem Sterling was causing many problems for City, with his pace down the wing and saw him waste a half chance too, when the ball came towards him and his attempt volley seen him fluff his effort on goal.
Pablo Zabaleta then missed a good chance for the home side, as with the visitors applying pressure on the champions they then carved a couple of rare opportunity out themselves.  The first being a Gael Clichy ball that was hit to the back post for the Argentine defender and could only see Zabaleta smash it high over the goals.
Yaya Toure then saw his shot from outside the box held firmly by Simon Mignolet in the Liverpool goals, as the wet weather didn`t help goalkeepers with conditions like they were playing in at all.

The visitors had the first real goal scoring chance in the game, as another former Blue player in Daniel Sturridge saw his effort saved at the near post by fellow England team mate Joe Hart, as the England number one kept his shot out and saw the ball cleared away.
Liverpool was dominating in possession and gave the blues problems without really putting them under any severe pressure at all and that saw typically the home side take the lead.  
Samir Nasri played a ball into the area which was cut out by Dejan Lovren as the defender got a header to it first, it had Alberto Moreno day dreaming and Stevan Jovetic more alert to just nip in ahead of him to drill the ball into the back of the Liverpool net and through the legs of Simon Mignolet for 1-0 as the defender attempted clearance saw him caught out.

In the second forty-five, the home side took over and saw them double their lead in the 54th minute, when some lovely football by the blues saw Jovetic do a little back heel flick towards David Silva and with Jovetic making a run towards the area unmarked, it saw Silva play a ball into the penalty area and had the Montenegro striker put home for a 2-0 lead.

PIC: TimesofMalta
Daniel Sturridge then had another effort for the away side, which saw the England striker try to go far side and had Joe Hart deny him once again with the keeper throwing an instinctive right arm up to send the ball out for a throw in.
City made two substitutions with Silva being replaced by Jesus Navas and then Edin Dzeko picked up a knock on his thigh after Martin Skrtel seemed to leave his studs in on the Bosnian forward and him come off for the Argentine Sergio Aguero.

Within seconds of coming onto the pitch a pinpoint ball by Jesus Navas saw Aguero latch on to the ball and place it into the back of the net for 3-0 and confirm victory over their rivals and see Aguero turn super- sub so far in the opening two games.
However the visitors did pull one goal back when City defender Martin Demichelis was muscled off the ball by Daniel Sturridge and had the striker put a cross in for Ricky Lambert to head on target, but Hart`s save bounced in off Pablo Zabaleta for an own goal and saw goal line technology used to see the score move to 3-1.
The goal was the only smudge on a good team performance by the champions and saw them take early vital points off their rivals even at this incredibly early stage of the season, plus with games against Arsenal and Chelsea upcoming in the next few weeks, it means the blues will need to have their wits about them too.


Sledge Hockey: Manchester Phoenix Sledge Hockey Season review

The 2014 Planet Ice Sledge Hockey season proved to be another step up the ladder for the J. Davidson Manchester Phoenix Sledge hockey team hockey this year, with them hoping to build on last season, when they beat the Cardiff Devils 7-0 in the playoffs.

Kingston Kestrels 7-1 Manchester Phoenix 

Manchester faced off in their opening game of the season, with a drive over the hills and towards Humberside where they faced the dethroned league champions in the Kingston Kestrels.

It didn’t see the best of starts for the Phoenix as they faced a much more experienced Kestrels side, as they opened their league account with a 7-1 victory over the Phoenix.

The game saw Kingston`s GB internationals show their class on a Manchester side very much in a transitional phrase, but credit to Kingston they shown why they are always title contenders and especially for the upcoming season.
With players like Mark Briggs, Ian Warner, Matt Clarkson and Matt Woolias in their ranks along with a good goaltender in Bryan Hackworth too, it meant it was always going to be a tough job to shut those players down.
Though from reports, Manchester didn`t disgrace themselves and just found the Kestrels having the killer instinct in them to bury chances as Matt Clarkson fired in a hat trick, along with Ian Warner netting twice and Briggs and Woolias scoring as well to see them score seven in the contest.
Manchester did get on the scoreboard through forward and top scorer for the Phoenix over the season in Karl Nicholson, as he scored to make it 4-1 at the time, before Kingston had too much for them in the end.

Manchester Phoenix  7 – 2 Peterborough Phantoms

Roll on a few weeks later and it saw the Phoenix opening up their home league campaign against the reigning league champions in the Peterborough Phantoms.
Peterborough`s preparations for the game wasn`t helped with players missing and with Gary Farmer being one of them, they lost some of their fire power in the game but still had Matthew Coleman in their ranks to help the Phantoms in the shooting department in the game.
Great Britain goalie in Rob Gaze played in defence for the Phantoms as they drafted in a couple of late replacements, with former GB netminder himself in Matt Lloyd coming out of retirement to help the Peterborough team out to go between the pipes and also had from the Widnes Wildcats Barry Sprakes give them an extra body for the game, with the visitors a low on the numbers side.
Manchester looked to capitalise on the Phantoms misfortune and seen then given an early powerplay chance to do it with, as Sprakes sat for two after being called for Teeing and saw Phoenix go one up with Karl Nicholson netting the powerplay goal.
Nicholson doubled the lead for the home side to move two in front and then the GB international assisted his international team-mate in Anthony Booth, whose  effort saw the home side lead 3-0 against the league champions and they was good for that lead.

Matthew Coleman then responded for the away side with a goal late on in the period as he made it 3-1 after the opening fifteenth minutes. Peterborough`s troubles deepened when Lloyd injured his shoulder and saw Gaze back in goals and the Phantoms having just one spare player for the remainder of the game.

Nicholson netted his hat trick goal and Manchester`s fourth of the contest after just thirty-nine seconds gone in the second period to see them re-open their three goal gap.
Four became five as Nicholson who was having a stunning game in the Phoenix jersey, seen him score an unassisted goal a minute before the second ended for a 6-1 score and all but give the hosts victory.

Karl Nicholson turned into a six-shooter for many reasons in this game, as he was deadly with his aim and helped himself to six goals in the game, with two more in the third and with Manchester keeping the Phantoms at bay for most of the game, they then lost concentration and saw Jon Le Gallodec score his first sledge hockey goal to make it 7-2 and put points on the board for the home side.

Cardiff Devils  5 – 2 Manchester Phoenix 

Next up for the Phoenix was a trip down to South Wales for a visit to the ‘Big Blue Tent’ in Cardiff and where it looked like they would make it two wins out of three against the only side not to register a point so far in the Devils.

Cardiff prior the game saw them suffer two heavy beatings in their opening two matches against the Phantoms and Kestrels, in which saw them concede twenty-two goals and score none in reply.
So this was very much a match in which they must have thought was a winable game, as it was the Manchester side was a bit complacent and played into the hands of their opponents and saw the Welsh side shock them.

Stephen Thomas put the hosts in front with a wraparound goal that saw them finally get a goal in the goals for column and saw them hold onto the lead for the first period.
That was till the second, when both sides traded goals with Anthony Booth of the Phoenix tying the game and then two goals from captain of the Devils in Russell Wiley, helped the Welsh side go 4-1 up.

The memories of the 7-0 playoff win was well and truly forgotten when Paul Furber made it 5-1 in the opening stages of the final period, with Karl Nicholson pulling a consolation goal back at the end of the game for the visitors to see them fall 5-2 to the welsh side, with the return the week after.

Manchester Phoenix  3 – 2 Cardiff Devils 

The following weekend saw the teams renew battle with the return game in Altrincham and saw an absolute barn burner at the Altrincham ice dome.

Cardiff started the game off the stronger of the two, with their tails up very much from beating the Phoenix the previous weekend and confidence billowing.

Both sides cancelled each other out and saw some great goaltending from both Steve Midghall for the Phoenix and Hannah O Connor of the Devils in between the pipes.
In the second period, it saw the hosts score first through Anthony Booth as they took the lead in a very closely fought contest, that saw hits and physical play along with some good entertaining hockey from both sides too.
Manchester dominated the second period with not much to show for it and looked like they were going to be heading into the final period 1-0 up. However a long range effort from Russell Wiley bounced and struck the post which saw the referee give the goal and had Phoenix players not to happy with the call, as they felt it didn`t cross the line.
Phoenix could easily have let the frustration get to them, but instead channelled it the correct way and saw Karl Nicholson grab his normal goal a game, to put the home side 2-1 up after nine seconds gone in the third.
Paul Furber then netted an equaliser for the Devils five minutes later which then set up an almost overtime type of contest for the rest of the game.
With neither side giving ground on their opponents, it saw the contest change a few minutes after the tying goal by the Devils, with Referee Whittle calling a penalty on Tim James for Teeing and then shortly after made a call on Stephen Thomas for Elbowing, which put the Phoenix on a 5 on 3 powerplay.

Cardiff defended very well and even had a couple of chances themselves on the penalty kill and looked like Manchester had missed out with the two man advantage.
With the first penalty expiring and seeing James return to the ice, it then saw Nicholson cut into the Cardiff zone before laying it off to Rob Allen who put it home for a power play goal and made it 3-2 to the Phoenix.
Cardiff weren`t happy with the official and much like Manchester when they felt hard done by, instead of forgetting and moving on they seemed to have lost their concentration and in all honestly cost them a draw at the very least.
Phoenix held onto the one goal win and moved level on points with both Peterborough and Kingston in the table at the moment in time.

Manchester Phoenix  5 – 6 Kingston Kestrels*
(* =Phoenix won by forfeit 5-0)

On the 9th of August, it saw the final league home game of the season for the Manchester Phoenix with them taking on the Kingston Kestrels in what turned out to be an exciting but controversial encounter too.
Prior to the game the Kestrels was missing five of their players in the line-up due to different reasons. Ian Warner was caught up in traffic en-route to the rink and so saw the game forfeited to the Manchester side, due to the severe lack of numbers.
However after a bit of a discussion between the teams, it was decided to make the best of a bad situation and had two Phoenix players join the Kestrels to make numbers up and have an exhibition game against them instead.
The two drafted in for the Kingston side saw Karl Nicholson a former Kestrels man himself putting the old jersey back on again and Steve Bradley dressing for the Kestrels.

The opening period saw Matt Clarkson fire in two goals for the Kestrels select side, after he cancelled out an early strike by Rob Allen that saw Manchester the much better side in the game and the two goals were very much against the run of play.
After two goals in seven seconds gave the Kingston side a nice little cushion, they then added a further goal forty-six seconds later, when Karl Nicholson put home for 3-1.
In the Second period it saw some normality back, as with Ian Warner making it to the rink to play in the remaining two periods after being held up in traffic, it meant that Nicholson could return to the Phoenix line up again for the rest of the game.
It saw the Kestrels go further ahead through Matt Clarkson netting his hat trick goal and fifth for the visitors to go 5-1 ahead and looked to be a mountain to climb for the hosts.

Nicholson then scored two quick goals to put the home side within touching distance of the visitors, with the forward scored his third of the game but second for the home side.
Ian Warner then scored a lovely solo for the visitors with the Phoenix defense looking like statues and saw the forward for the Kestrels cut up the middle to make it 5-3 after two periods of hockey.

In the third period of play, it saw Nicholson score his hat trick goal for the Phoenix and also set up Anthony Booth for the tying goal to make it 5-5 with seven minutes remaining in the contest. It made the game a very entertaining and exciting one for the fans in attendance too.
With Manchester looking the side in the ascendancy in the game, it saw heart ache late on for the host in final two minutes of the contest.

Both sides had chances and saw Bryan Hackworth, who was arguably the man of the match for the visitors coming up big with some great stops to see Manchester unable to take the go-ahead goal.
Kingston then launched another attack and seen Matt Clarkson send a pass up ice toward Ian Warner and he put it by man of the match Steve Midghall, to see the Kestrels take it late on 6-5 with a minute and thirteenth left to play.
The aftermath of the game saw the decision to award the Phoenix a 5-0 win by default after the Sledge hockey board had no other choice than to award the game.

Peterborough Phantoms  7 – 3 Manchester Phoenix

Manchester ended their league campaign with a journey down the A1, to the home of the reigning league champions the Peterborough Phantoms and where a win for the Phoenix would see them face Peterborough in the end of season playoffs and on the flip side, if Phantoms won it would see them become league champions for the second year running.
Manchester had a slim chance of lifting the title themselves, but they would have to win by a ridiculous amount of goals to see that happen and in reality it was never going to happen.
Phoenix though did take the lead against the champions-elect, through an Anthony Booth strike that came after a minute of play and then had Matthew Coleman equalise for the Phantoms to make it 1-1.

A crazy first period saw the Phantom go from 2-1 down when Karl Nicholson scored, only for goals by from Gary Farmer, Tyler Christopher and Jon Le Galloudec to put the home side 4-2 ahead after the first.

Gary Farmer completed his hat trick in the second period as he helped the Phantoms move further in front at 6-2, before Rob Allen scored a consolation goal for the Phoenix and then had Tyler Christopher round off the scoring as he put the icing on the cake for the Phantoms, to see them retain their title.

An interesting stat for the Phoenix and something that they have that Kingston and Cardiff can`t boast is that Manchester was the only side to score against Peterborough all season.
Manchester meet Cardiff for the second successive season in the playoffs as they face off in the 3rd /4th playoff.


Team Games Played Won Draws Lost Goals Against Goals Scored Total Points
Peterborough Phantoms 6 5 1 10 35 10
Kingston Kestrels 6 3 3 11 35 6
Manchester Phoenix 6 3 3 23 18 6
Cardiff Devils 6 1 5 44 7 2


Pic from : Champions Hockey

This week marks a new era of European hockey with the start of the inaugural Champions Hockey League tournament and it should be noted that at the time of typing this blog that a few games after already started prior to this being posted.
The new club tournament will see 44 clubs across Europe vying for the title of ‘Kings of Europe’ as this new competition will see 12 different leagues around the continent entering the CHL (Champions Hockey League). Teams hailing from the main hockey nations of Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Switzerland and Sweden, will see those main forces in the competition be favourites.
There is also Six Wildcards places too in the tournament, that sees the minor hockey leagues in Europe in Italy, UK, Norway, France, Denmark and Slovakia all given a chance to take part in the CHL.
This new competition isn`t a completely new idea as It saw a very similar thing happen in the mid 90`, where the defunct European Hockey League (EHL) that took place between 1997-2000 and saw the UK bloody a few high profile noses with the then Superleague entry the Manchester Storm being put forward to represent the United Kingdom in the tournament back then.
The first year didn`t work out well for some sides including Manchester with set times, in when they played and saw it affect attendances with games played at 5:30 in the evening, much like the Europa League in football a few year ago.
The following year saw times amended for teams and saw bigger crowds due to it and sadly from a European hockey aspect, the tournament never really caught on fire and so was scrapped by the bosses in Europe after 2000.
The Champions Hockey League, has  seen the IIHF agree rights with 13 countries over television deals in which the games will be shown live or recorded live in some of the countries to be contesting the CHL. Media outlets like (Austria), MTV (Finland), Sport1 (Germany), SVT (Sweden), SlovakSport.TV (Slovakia & Czech Republic), Teleclub (Switzerland) and Premier Sports (GB & Ireland) all having official deals with the hockey governing body to show the action. 
They have also worked with the United States to showcase what they hope will be the best of European hockey with ONE World Sports picking up the contract over the pond for North American viewers.
You will also be wondering, that with all these European sides and the power houses of International Ice hockey like Sweden, Finland and Czech Republic in this event where are the Russian sides?, Sadly the IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation) couldn`t agree on a deal to get the sides from the Russian based Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) included in this new competition.
The KHL bosses showed a lack of interest in joining the brand new venture, with the KHL being regarded in many hockey circles as the second best league in the world, with the North American NHL (National Hockey League) still the top dog in ice hockey standards.
In Finland, one team of note that is excluded from the list of teams not playing in the CHL and also not taking part in the Finnish SM-Liiga from now on is that of Jokerit.  Jokerit the Helsinki based hockey team, have took up an offer to break away from the Finnish league and will now ply their trade from this season onwards, playing in the lucrative KHL much to the disgruntlement of the bosses in their homeland of Finland.
The European Trophy that has been contested over the years, as now gone this new face lift and come out as this new club tournament and heralds a new dawn of European Champions League ice Hockey, that will see 44 teams split up into eleven groups of four, with each team playing the other home and away in their respective groups.
Some countries have teams ranging from eight entrants in the field off 44, to some having just the one. The teams taking part are done in a slightly confusing three tier Licensing system, where sides holding a “A License” are the Founder members of the tournament and
Teams with a ‘B License’ are those that fall into a category of six ways.
-National Champion
-Regular Season Winner
-Runner-up, Regular season
-Play-off finalist
-Best placed semi-final loser
-Worst placed semi-final loser.
Those with a C license are basically Wildcards with one entry from the remaining leagues around Europe that are taking part in the competition.

Austria has Red Bull Salzburg, Vienna Capitals and the current league champions from the Austrian Hockey League in the Bolzano-Bozen Foxes from Italy seeing them have three in the competition, while Liberec, Pardubice, Vitkovice Steel and Sparta Prague sees the Czech founder sides while PSG Zlin take up the extra place as they all challenge from the Czech Extraliga.
Finland have eight representatives in the CHL with HIFK,  JYP,  KalPa,  Karpat,  Tappara and TPS Turku being founder members of the new CHL with Lukko Rauma and SaiPa given entry too. 
Sweden`s hockey league the Elitserien has eight spots with Frolunda, Farjestad, HV71, Linkoping, Lulea, Djurgarden and Skelleftea AIK being the founder member`s alongside the Vaxjo Lakers as the extra side included.
Germany have four founder member`s in Adler Mannheim, Eisbaren Berlin, Krefeld Pinguine and the current DEL champions in ERC Ingolstadt, while having the inclusion of the Hamburg Freezers and runners-up for the second straight season in the playoff grand final in Kolner Haie.
Switzerland`s National League A founder teams sees SC Bern, HC Fribourg-Gotteron, ZSC Lions and EV Zug with the Kolten Flyers and HC Geneve-Servette being the Swiss entrants.
Teams with a ‘C Licence’ are Norway`s Stavanger Oilers and Valerenga Ishockey, with HC Kosice from the Slovakian league taking part. 
Vojens based SonderjyskE Ishockey from Denmark and Diables Rouges de Briancon are the French Ligue Magnus entry.
For the established For the UK, it sees the Runners-up in the Elite League last year the Nottingham Panthers take up the challenge for Great Britain as Nottingham got handed the spot by the league, after the Belfast Giants who won the Elite league crown last season had to step aside, due to the Northern Ireland outfit not able to guarantee ice time at their home venue The Odyssey Arena.
The Lace city side will of course be excited by the forthcoming challenge of this competition, with  Fans, players and the league alike hoping to see the Panthers restore who pride and hopefully put British hockey back on the map through this tournament.
However they are under no illusions of the task they face and know the group they have been drawn in is one of, if not the toughest group in the tournament. Nottingham are ranked dead last in the seeding so no pressure on them from anyone else, but themselves as they`ll want to perform to their best.
The Panthers will face the trio of Finnish side Lukko Rauma of the SM-Liiga in their opening encounter and will face equally sterner opposition, with games against the side that topped the German DEL for a majority of it last term in the Hamburg Freezers and to round off the group, sees Swedish side Lulea Bears Hockey club coming back to face British opposition once again in a European competition.

 The Opening game of the CHL tournament will take place Thursday evening, where the Czech Extraliga side Vitkovice Ostrava will kick off the 2014-15 competition in Group H as they face off against the surprise package in the German DEL playoffs last year in German champions, ERC Ingolstadt.

SLEDGE HOCKEY: Chaos sees Kestrels win the battle, but not the War

Manchester  Phoenix SH   5   –  6   Kingston Kestrels 

This past Saturday afternoon saw the final home league game for the Manchester Phoenix Sledge hockey team in the Planet Ice Sledge hockey league, as they played their penultimate game as they hosted the title chasing Kingston Kestrels at the Altrincham Ice Dome.
Unfortunately though, due to certain circumstance with players unable to travel to the game or getting stuck in traffic, it saw the game as a contest ended before it even begun, with the Kingston side forfeiting the match. It saw later after the match that Manchester would be awarded the victory with a 5-0 default win.
However, it wasn`t all gloom and doom, as it was agreed that both sides would make the best of the situation and decided to play out a friendly match with Phoenix players Steve Bradley dressing for the Kestrels and Karl Nicholson pulling on the jersey of his former side one more time, to help the teams levelled out a bit for this friendly.
With the drop of the puck to start the friendly it saw Kingston score almost immediately from the face off, with Matt Clarkson for the Kingston Kestrels skating by the Phoenix defence, who had hardly any time to get into the game at all and saw Clarkson`s effort saved magnificently by Steve Midghall, as he managed to tip it over the goals for a great save in the opening thirty seconds of play.
Manchester then used that shock attack by Kingston to react and react they did, as Dominic Cosgrove went hard down the right wing for the Phoenix and after the forward picked up a loose puck and see his shot saved by Bryan Hackworth in the Kestrels goal, it saw Rob Allen follow up with a rebound that trickled in at 2-41 to put the home side ahead.
Karl Nicholson then found himself free for the visitors when the guest for the visitors, saw him bear down on Midghall and witnessed the netminder once more make a great save to deny the forward and keep the Phoenix ahead in the contest.
Kingston pressure built and built, until the Kestrels managed to finally breakthrough the defences of Midghall, where upon Matt Clarkson put his shot over the blocker of the netminder to tie the game up at 1-1 with Player coach of the visitors Simon Berry assisting at 8-46.
Kingston doubled their lead seven seconds later, when Clarkson turned provider to set up forward Karl Nicholson when he went cut up the Phoenix defence from the restart to see the Humberside club move 2-1 ahead at 8-53.
It got even better for the away side as they went three up at 9-39, with Matt Clarkson netting his second goal of the match.
Manchester almost pulled a goal back a few moments later, when Anthony Booth chased down a stray puck in the neutral zone and went one on one with Bryan Hackworth, but saw the netminder deny him to see the score remain the same.  The period ended with the Kestrels coming on strong in the middle part of the period and takes a two goal lead.
In the Second period, it saw Karl Nicholson return back to the Phoenix fold after the arrival of Ian Warner to the game, to which saw him delayed due to traffic trouble en route to the Altricham Ice dome.
Kingston then stretched their lead out to a 4-1 score line, as Matt Clarkson found his ‘top gear’ to put the puck past the Phoenix goalie at 17-35 to complete a hat trick.
Manchester then came back with two quick goals in a minute both through Karl Nicholson, as he netted at 22-04 and 22-34 with both being assisted by Rob Allen. Ian Warner then restored a two goal cushion to the Kestrels with a solo effort as the G.B International made the score move to 5-3 at 24-27.
Nicholson then found himself free again and the Kestrels defence was unable to stop the Manchester man, but did see the netminder come out on top in the duel to see the period finish with the Visitors leading by two goals.
Phoenix was looking to respond early in the third period to give them some hope of getting back in the match and it came through Nicholson`s third goal of the game as he slid it past Hackworth to make it 5-4 at 31-51. 
Anthony Booth thought he was going to score as he broke away on goal, but saw Hackworth once more coming up trumps for Kingston as he repelled the Phoenix forward.
However, it saw Manchester draw level eventually, when Nicholson set up Booth to put home from close range and see the Phoenix and Booth specifically tying the game up at 38-18 to make it 5-5.
Steve Midghall hadn`t had much to do in the third period with most of the action taking place up towards the Kingston goals, but it did see him make a stunning save from close range and then make a catch off a long range effort from the Kestrels defensive zone, to see the score remain level pegging.
Some amazing passing and attacking plays from the home side saw Phoenix almost retake the lead through Booth, when a chance at the front of the net saw a scramble near the goals but saw Hackworth show off his goaltending ability once more to see the scores stay tied.
With the game coming towards a conclusion, it saw the visitors score a late goal to take victory in the friendly, when a pass by Clarkson found Warner who controlled the puck and then fire far side on Midghall, to see him beat the goalie and see Kingston take the win 6-5 at 43-47 in what was a thoroughly entertaining game.
Man of the match: Steve Midghall (Phoenix) 

Speedway: Stars Shine Bright Over Belle Vue


Monday night saw the league leaders in the Speedway Elite League in the Kings Lynn Stars shine far above a very disappointing Belle Vue side that saw King Lynn give the home side a trouncing at Kirkmanshulme Lane. The leaders shown their dominance from the start as they made the better starts and looked a very solid side and can see why they are top of the table.
Belle Vue welcomed the Norfolk side to Manchester and boasted the man who won the deciding final race this past Saturday night in Bydgoszcz, that saw the Danish national side regain the world cup from rivals Poland in the form of Niels Kristian Iversen. The Kings Lynn number one rider is gunning for a hat trick of honours this season, as he hopes to add club glory and a world championship medal along with his newly won world cup success.
The meeting started off in a sombre and somewhat reflective mood, with the Manchester club paying tribute to a former rider and captain in the Aces colours in Ron Johnson who sadly passed away down in New Zealand recently and also saw them remember the fallen soldiers as part of the 100th anniversary to the start of WWI.
In the opening race of the night it seen Niels Kristan Iversen fresh from his World Cup success and buoyed from his winning ride for his country, he took the race win ahead of Matej Zagar with fellow Dane Michael Palm Toft packing the minor places to see a shared heat.
Heat two saw the traditional reserves race and after Aces Stefan Nielsen was excluded for bringing down Lewis Rose with a hard move, it saw the King Lynn pair then collect a 5-1 in the re run and put the Stars up by four points.
The Stars increased their lead when Niklas Porsing and Lewis Rose rode to a 4-2 heat advantage and looked to be a long night ahead for the home side, with the leaders showing why they are top at the current moment. 
Despite the Aces grabbing a 4-2 race win in heat six through captain Scott Nicholls and Richie Worrall it saw the hosts unable to capitalise on the win with Robert Lambert and Niels Kristian Iversen showing some fantastic team riding as they blocked out the challenged of Michael Palm Toft with the Stars taking maximum points.
Another 4-2 race win in heat nine for Kings Lynn saw the visitors go ten points ahead in the meeting and so brought the tactical substitution out in the form of Matej Zagar, with him donning the Black and White helmet cover looking at double points. Indeed that is what happened for the Slovenian grand prix star, when the Aces number one rode right by the fence with a spectacular move on Rory Schlein and Kenneth Bjerre to get by the visiting riders and collect six points with a 6-3 heat advantage with his teammate unable to get into the points.
Kings Lynn struck right back though with their powerful squad as Iversen and Lambert took another 5-1 maximum, which was followed up the very next race in heat six when Porsing and Steve Worrall saw him take third place with Palm Toft splitting the pair but not able to get past Porsing.
Heat thirteenth saw the match up of the big guns with Matej Zagar taking the race with Iversen and Bjerre claiming the minor places as Craig Cook just floundered at the back and had a disappointing night by his standards and saw the Kings Lynn side claim victory.
For Stefan Nielsen his meeting was a case of when it rains it pours. The youngster suffering two falls in his opening two races and then not only had he been involved in two crashes during the night, but he had an expensive one too when his engine blown up earlier in the meeting and co in sided with Nielsen recording his lowest score at Kirkmanshulme Lane this season making only four points from four rides.
It go no easier for Nielsen as after he and Steve Worrall got tangled together on the first bend of the penultimate race, it saw the Aces man hit the shale once more and come off the better of the two with Worrall having to be replaced in the re run by Lewis Rose, who in turn then took the race win as he and Lambert took a 4-2 and secure the full four points for the Norfolk to extend their lead at the top.
In the final race of the night it saw Matej Zagar sign off with another sensational swoop round the fourth bend as the Aces man took the win and see the Stars crush the hosts inflicting the biggest home loss of the season on Belle Vue.



1. Matej Zagar 2, 2, 6!, 3, 3 = 16
2. Michael Palm Toft 1′, 1, 0, 2 = 4+1
3. Scott Nicholls 1′, 3, 3, 0, 0 = 7+1
4. Richie Worrall 2, 1, 0, 2 = 5
5. Craig Cook 2, 1′, 1, Fx = 4+1
6. Stefan Nielsen X, 0, 2, M, 0 = 2
7. Lee Payne 1, 0, 0, 0 = 1


 Kings Lynn = 54

1. Niels Kristian Iversen 3, Fx, 2′, 2, 1′ = 8+2
2. Nicklas Porsing 0, 3, 1, 3 = 7
3. Rory Schlein 0, 3, 2, 1′ = 6+1
4. Robert Lambert R, 2′, 3, 1 = 6+1
5. Kenneth Bjerre 3, 2, 2, 1′, 2 = 10+1
6. Steve Worrall (G) 2′, 3, 3, 1 = 9+1
7. Lewis Rose 3, 1, 1, 3 = 8