Wilson at the Double as Mayhem secure Playoff spot in Overtime thriller.






Two goals by Manchester defenceman Graham Wilson helped seal his sides playoff place in their debut season thanks to a 3-2 overtime win over fellow playoff chasers the Peterborough Phantoms in a thriller at Widnes SilverBlades Ice Rink.

Both teams went into the contest knowing that win for either side would be a huge push towards their own playoff hopes and aspirations, with the losing side having their task made a bit more harder. This year has seen a difficult one for both teams on the ice and for Manchester equally as tough on and off this season coming quickly and after a tough year both teams on the ice this season. 

The games first chance fell the way of the Mayhem side early on, with Anthony Booth dispossessing a Phantoms man at centre ice and saw his teammate Karl Nicholson getting up in support to join the attack and after a quick pass up towards him, the effort on goal was well dealt with by Rob Gaze in the Peterborough goals.

Manchester were the clear aggressors in the game early on and put a lot of pressure on their opponents, to begin with, and had the Phantoms at threes and fours on many occasions. Peterborough then had a man sent to the box for a penalty and that saw more play down in the Phantoms end, but brought no reward to the Mayhem side as shots were wayward.

Forward Anthony Booth then found himself getting behind the Phantoms defence in the game and having a clear route to goal from the wing, but his shot was stopped dead by Gaze in the visiting goals and would be a recurring theme throughout the game. Matt Coleman then had the Phantoms first real sight on goal with a shot at the near post, with the Mayhem goalie Steve Midghall making a good save to deny the Peterborough man and keep the game goalless.

Gaze was obviously in no mood to let anything puck based get by him in the game, as it saw him being forced to make another fine save off Ant Booth, and repel everything to help his side out, as they were coming under heavy fire from the Manchester forwards. Coleman once more tested Midghall in goal again from distance, but the netminder more than equal to it and saw the goalies looking on good form.

With Manchester dominating the play in the period and not having much to show for their efforts, it came as no surprise then when the home side finally opened the scoring with 2.20 left to go in the period thanks to an unlikely scorer.

After a long pass up the boards was taken in by Rob Allen it saw him battling on the blue line before getting a quick pass away to Karl Nicholson, who then spun and found Booth skating down the left wing and quickly made a pass across the face of goal for Graham Wilson to get on the end of and score his first career goal for a 1-0 lead.

Manchester pushed hard for the second goal soon after, with defenceman Dean Laham almost doubling the lead a minute later for the home side with a high shot but the puck just went over the bar of the Phantoms net and saw the Mayhem continuing to swarm all over the Peterborough crease.

Steve Bradley then went close before the end of the period with an effort from point blank range with the netminder yet again coming up trumps for the Phantoms and making a good stop to keep to a one-goal deficit after one period of play.

The second period saw the proverbial ice tilted towards the Phantoms end as the Manchester side came out well on top in the period, but just could not find any way passed Rob Gaze in the opposition’s goal as he was having a stormer of a game. Peterborough was really struggling to find any rhythm in the game and was becoming difficult to force their way back, but with the score line as it was, they were always still in the contest.

Peterborough then struck the goalpost and sent a warning to their opponents that they were not fully out of this game yet, and could still be dangerous when given half the chance. Manchester was carving out a few more goal scoring chances for themselves, but in the process, they weren’t able to convert them and had Gaze proving to be a thorn in the Manchester side. 

As play moved to the third, it saw the Mayhem continuing to dominating and saw Anthony Booth going close with effort inside the opening minute of the period but had it come to nothing.


The game then began to see the home side starting to look a bit sloppy in their play and make some poor decision making in their approach play too. This seemed to encourage the travelling Phantoms side and saw him inching their way back into the game more and more put the hosts now slowly on the back foot.

It was a pretty stop-start period to begin in truth, with the whistle being blown for a lot of the time early doors. Despite Manchester having more goal attempts than that of their opponent’s, those efforts that they were creating though weren’t too threatening at all and saw the Mayhem unable to find this second goal that you felt would kill the game off. 

With the scoreline standing at 1-0 still in favour of the Mayhem, it was almost inevitable that the away side would strike and make them pay and that is just what happened. Matt Coleman scored the equaliser after a pass to Kieran O’Meara saw him playing it back to Coleman for the Peterborough man to fire a low shot into the far corner of the net and make it 1-1 with just over 8 minutes of the game left to go.

Peterborough had been reinvigorated with that goal by Matt Coleman and saw the visitors now having the play in their favour and tilting the ice on their opponents. The visiting side then took the lead soon after thanks to Matt Coleman’s second goal of the game and came about from the Mayhem failing to clear their lines.

It saw the Mayhem Captain Karl Nicholson unable to get the puck cleanly and got in a tangle and was dispossessed by Phantoms Kieran O’Meara who them played in Coleman to put home at the near post with another well-taken goal and make it 2-1. Peterborough was well and truly having the bit between their teeth now in the game and saw the Phantoms having their purple patch in the game and making it count.

Manchester was seeing their playoffs evaporating before their very eyes and was mostly the Mayhem being architects of their own downfall in the game. Coleman had a great chance to put the game to bed with just under six and a half to play, but the Phantoms man lifted it too high and hit the plexiglass behind the net. 

After such a good performance by the home side for the majority of the game, it was seemingly now looking like their playoffs hopes was diminishing with every second that passed by. Karl Nicholson then skated around the visitors back line with the puck and one on one with Robin Gaze and the netminder thwarted the Mayhem man once more and kept the Phantoms ahead.

With the game having less than four minutes left to play in regulation and seeing the Mayhem needing to score again to tie it up, it had the Peterborough side desperately trying to clear away and defend their precious lead in the game and made for a tense end to the game. 

Desperation started to creep into the Manchester play and when Graham Wilson found himself behind the Phantoms goals he spotted the movement of Karl Nicholson and the captain fired into the back of the net for a 2-2 game with 2.53 left to go. 

The game effectively now became an overtime period with both sides playing slightly cautious in their approaches with the period coming to a close.  With 45 minutes unable to separate the sides, it meant that overtime was needed to find a winner and see who would take the extra point.

Play in the overtime period saw both sides cancelling the other one out and saw Karl Nicholson having the first chance to win the game as he went one on one with Rob Gaze and his shot struck the post and away. Ant Booth then had a half chance as the puck came to the Manchester man but the netminder was once again on top of the forwards to make the save.

Peterborough then went from defence into attack instantly, after Graham Wilson tried to keep the puck and managed to played it straight into the pass of the Phantoms player who went up ice and had Nicholson a the last man which brought an early rising shot and brought a great stretching save from Midghall. 

With playing entering the last minute of overtime, it saw Manchester clearing the zone and set Nicholson away once again and had Gaze making another important save to deny the hosts a winning goal. Manchester kept the puck in the Peterborough zone and when Graham Wilson skated towards the front of the net he collected the puck and slid it past the despairing Gaze for the overtime winner and fire the Mayhem to victory.

The goal sparked celebrations from his team mate and in the stands, with the goal confirming their playoff place next month and have them joining Kingston Kestrels and Cardiff Huskies on September 2nd and 3rd in the Playoffs weekend. 

MAYHEM v Phantoms – Match Highlights  Taken from: Phoben inc

Match Facts

Manchester Mayhem: Graham Wilson 2+1, Karl Nicholson 1+0, Anthony Booth 0+2, Rob Allen 0+2

Peterborough Phantoms: Matt Coleman 2+0, Kieran O’Meara 0+1, Scott Turner 0+1 

League Standings:20622116_751184838394850_1593022791579157778_n



Joy of Six For Nicholson As Mayhem Crush Champs


 Peterborough Phantoms 3 – 6 Manchester Mayhem

A brilliant performance by a short-benched Manchester side saw the Mayhem pulling off a stunning 6-3 away victory at the home of the League Champions in the Peterborough Phantoms, courtesy of four-goals by Mayhem captain Karl Nicholson and a brace from Anthony Booth to help record their second win of the season and keep their faint title hopes alive.  It has been a common theme in all the games this season involving the Mayhem that the Manchester side have struggled to ice a full strength side, so with a depleted team, it saw the win almost most remarkable.

Manchester drafted in a couple of guest replacements with Kingston Kestrels Tony King and Simon Berry stepping in at short notice for the Mayhem, as it saw the visiting side able to ice an line. For the home side, it saw them at full strength and also welcomed back Ian Warner to their side for the clash.

The visitors controlled the play on and forced the Phantoms netminder Robin Gaze into action with some good stops to keep the game scoreless. Peterborough managed to force themselves back into the contest, but they couldn’t stop the away side taking the lead though a Karl Nicholson effort at 4.29 before doubling the lead later in the period at 11.34 to see the Mayhem moving 2-0 up.

Peterborough responded in the second half of the period, thanks to two late goals by Ian Warner and Scotty Turner as they pulled it back to 2-2 and on the balance of play Manchester will have felt aggrieved at not leading after the open stanza. Once again though it saw the Mayhem surrendering a lead and making it harder for themselves.

In the second period, it saw the home side coming out of the traps a lot quicker and building on their momentum from the back of the first with a go ahead goal at 21.16 from the stick of Darren Brown, to see the Phantoms scoring three unanswered goals to lead the game. Unfortunately for the home side, it saw their lead lasting less than two minutes, with the host’s goal providing a wake-up call for the Mayhem side and began to see the game turning in the favour of their opponents.

Firstly Anthony Booth registered his first goal of the game assisted by Karl Nicholson at 22.42, before then repeating the same feat towards the back of the period to and give the visitors a 4-3 lead after two periods of hockey. It also saw the period being one of physicality and some good passages of play coming from both sides as the game headed into the final period.

Play in the third saw a more evenly contested period between the two and saw a big collision involving Matt Coleman of the Peterborough Phantoms, which saw the forward staying down but was thankfully ok minutes later. Manchester then made it 5-3 with an effort from Karl Nicholson at 40.22 with Booth grabbing an assist on it. Soon it was followed up with the sixth goal by Nicholson and his fourth of the night, as he sealed the victory for the Mayhem.

The Netminder for the Mayhem in Dougy Hankinson, saw the Manchester goalie making some crucial stops late on from the Phantom forwards, with Hankinson preserving the three-goal lead for the visitors. Victory for the Mayhem saw the kind of performance that was missing from the Manchester side the week before, with the visitors showing quick movements and were able to establish a far more fluid passing and attacking side to their game than that of their previous fixture.

What the result means now is that the Mayhem are still in the hunt for the league title, but will need Manchester to win all their remaining fixtures to lift the trophy for the first time. The Mayhem will have to do it the hard way with Cardiff away in the near future as well as the return fixture with the Phantoms at Widnes next month. If that wasn’t difficult enough, then their next game is against the high flying Kingston Kestrels and will be playing the unbeaten league leaders home and away

Defeat for Manchester on the 15th of July will hand the title to the Hull-based outfit and will condemn Manchester to play for a runners up spot, though in hindsight considering the last twelve-months that would be a huge achievement.

Mayhem Handed A Royal Beating By Steelkings

SHEFFSheffield Steelkings  10 – 2  Manchester Mayhem    17155952_1499932596740759_1981299675865431597_n


CREDIT: Peter Best Photography


In their third season of existence and after 19 matches played in the British Para Ice Hockey League, the Sheffield Steelkings could finally call themselves victors after a stunning 10-2 win over Roses rivals the Manchester Mayhem, thanks to a seven-goal haul for Gary Farmer. 

It was only a month ago when the sides played out a fiery game at the Altrincham Ice Rink and saw the meeting going the way of the Mayhem on that occasion, but you could that this rivalry was being to catch fire and look more like a competitive rivalry with a new look Sheffield side this year.

Sheffield who have long been the whipping boys of the Para Ice Hockey league since joining three seasons ago, it has saw them suffering hammers left, right and centre over the past couple of seasons and looked like they might never pick up a win. This season though has saw a change of fortune to the South Yorkshire club, so with a big crowd at Ice Sheffield and still buoyed by their recent performances so far this year, it saw the home side looking for their first win in their history.

Manchester came into the game short benched yet again, as they were missing three key players in their line-up, with Rob Allen out and the duo of Dean Lahan and Dominic Cosgrove. Coach for the Mayhem in Pete Hagan saw him needing to draft in Tony King from the Kingston Kestrels as a guest player and also handed a debut to Elizabeth Turner for the match.

From the drop of the puck it saw only one side truly in the contest at all, and that wasn’t the visiting Manchester side. With thirty-three seconds gone in the game, Gary Farmer put Sheffield ahead and that goal seemed to set the hosts up for the rest of the contest after such a early stage.  

Both teams enjoyed spells of possession with the puck and saw Pat Bailey having the visitors first shot on goal, but stand-in goalie Jake Oakley made a good stop between the pipes for the Steelkings after Sheffield had both regular goalies missing for the game. 

At the other end it saw Dougy Hankinson in the Mayhem net denying Mark Briggs for the home side, after he was forced to make a couple of saves from long range efforts by Gary Farmer. Sheffield then moved two nil ahead at 8.52 on the clock, with Gary Farmer shooting high on Hankinson in the Mayhem goal after a nice cross ice pass by Caroline Bonner saw the forward cutting in on goal and making it count.

Manchester then called a timeout to try re-assess the early damage done against them, as defensive they were caught slacking and offensively they were unable to generate much at all.

The visitors then found themselves with a golden chance to possibly cut the lead in half soon after, after a Karl Nicholson clearance saw the puck heading up ice and into the path of Anthony Booth who had Pat Bailey with him in support on a breakaway, but they were caught offside much to the relief of the home side.  Bailey then found himself serving a two minute penalty towards the back end of the first, with the Manchester man being called for teeing and saw the visiting bench not happy at all with the call by the officials.

The Mayhem seemed to play a dangerous game of passing it around their zone while a man light, and that method would could back to hurt them as Gary Farmer gained possession of the puck in their zone and fired high over the head of the netminder for a natural hat-trick at 14.17. 

Sheffield moved out to a 4-0 lead on 16.12, when Farmer was on target yet again for the Steelkings to bring up his fourth of the game and you did feel that the contest was over already so early into the second. Majority of the play was down the Mayhem end and had the visitors lacking in ideas and looked all at sea for a lot of the time too. 

Barry Grayson almost made it 5-0 for Sheffield soon after with a near post effort, but the puck pinged off the iron and away from danger. The home side didn’t need to wait too long to extend their lead further though, as a long range effort by Mark Briggs saw the puck going into the Mayhem net for a fifth goal to the Steelkings at 25.46 and that was game, set and match.

Manchester were looking anything but their normal selves in the contest, as the Mayhem players were making one poor decision after another and it was almost like the team had never played together before. When the visitors finally got behind the Steelkings defence and bearing down on goal it saw the horn sounding for an end to play in the second period, as the Mayhem looked like not just losing the contest but possibly being shutout by the hosts too.

In the final period the Steelkings hammered home their advantage with a further five goals to their name and they didn’t just beat their rivals, but they humiliate them as well. The Mayhem were architects of their own downfall at times and that was shown on the hosts sixth-goal, after Karl Nicholson was left to battle on his own against three Steelkings before Gary Farmer picked up the puck and burst away up ice and saw his initial shot saved but Barry Grayson was on hand to tuck home the rebound at 30.58.

At 32.20 it saw Farmer grabbing his fifth goal of the game and the hosts seventh of the match, as the forward skated up the left side and fired a low shot that somehow managed to get by the goalie and and make it 7-0. The first real showing of any threatening intent by Manchester brought them a goal at 34.43, when Karl Nicholson skated into the Sheffield zone and played a lovely pass towards Anthony Booth in the Steelkings zone and the Mayhem forward composed himself and fired past Jake Oakley in the home cage for a 7-1 game.

The visitors tried to build on that goal and saw them coming forward once more in attack through Pat Bailey and Anthony Booth as they found themselves on a 2-on-0 for Manchester, but Bailey overran the puck and that summed up the visitors play in the game. Sheffield continued to punish a hapless Manchester side and saw them scoring two quick goals from the stick of Gary Farmer, as he took his tally for the match up to a magnificent seven and was a case now of how many more goals would they rack up.

With the match all but sewn up now, it saw the Steelkings side turning on the style and a the home side netting one last goal in the game. Their 10th goal saw a breakaway from Gary Farmer who played a pass across goal intended for Barry Grayson who mis-controlled it, however the puck fell nicely to Mark Colquitt and the Sheffield man back- handed the puck in for the hosts and complete a miserable afternoon for the travelling Mayhem side.

Manchester did score a late consolation goal through Karl Nicholson at 40.59 and that saw the Mayhem having the last word in this contest game, after Booth returned the favour in kind to his teammate and the Mayhem captain put it home for a 10-2 score line. As the game entered the closing stages of the game, it saw the home side revelling in the clubs first ever win when the horn sounded and the joy on every Sheffield players face was there for all to see.

For Sheffield, the win was a culmination of hard work and graft to get their first points on the board and maiden win under their belts too after a wait of two and a bit years, as capitalising on errors by their opponents and some good play saw them worthy winners in the game. In the case of Manchester, it back to basics and look to regroup before their daunting trip down to Peterborough Phantoms next Sunday evening.


Mayhem come out on top of feisty Roses clash

17155952_1499932596740759_1981299675865431597_n    Manchester Mayhem  7 – 2  Sheffield Steelkings    SheffieldSteelKings

In the first meeting of the Roses games this season,  it saw the Manchester Mayhem holding the bragging rights after a 7-2 victory over the Sheffield Steelkings thanks to four goals by Anthony Booth, in what was a very feisty contest and at times bad tempered game at Altrincham. 

The previous meetings between the sides with Manchester playing under a different banner, had saw the Red Rose side holding a perfect record against their counterparts from Sheffield, with mostly one-sided games. Play was even and saw both teams having chances and looking threatening too.

A fairly fast-paced game saw both sides testing the respective netminders, but had neither side able to make the breakthrough. Manchester ended the period a man light, after Karl Nicholson was forced to serve a penalty for a delay of game call, ten seconds from the end of first.

Sheffield’s Jake Oakley and Mayhem’s Simon Berry look on – Pic: 98 Yettii Photography

Second period saw a glut of goals forthcoming in the game finally, with firstly Sheffield’s Gary Farmer getting the opening goal of the contest at 16.10, as the forward took a pop from the blue line and saw the puck fly in over Steve Midghall in nets and go in off the goal post to give the Steelkings a 1-0 lead.

Manchester responded with two goals in the space of 30 seconds, as Karl Nicholson levelled the game up at 18.17 and then his teammate Anthony Booth sweeping home to make it 2-1 at 18.47 for the Mayhem and put the hosts in front.

Booth then made it 3-1 after Nicholson had played the puck off the side boards with pace and that the bounce falling nicely for his Mayhem line mate to chase down and then slot passed Bryan Hackworth in the Sheffield goals to increase their lead.

At 22.58 it saw Gary Farmer reducing the deficit to just one goal and also score his second of the game in the process, with the Steelkings man collecting the puck behind the Manchester net and then roofing home for a 3-2 game.

Steve Midghall of Manchester keeps his eye on the puck – pic: All Sports Photography

The home side then moved 4-2 ahead thanks to a second goal by Karl Nicholson, but the contest was far from over, as Sheffield weren’t throwing in the towel quite yet. Tempers then began to simmer towards the end of the second period, when Nicholson continued to go to the net and crashed into the Sheffield goalie- which brought the ire of the visiting Steelkings side and a scrum developed.

From that point onwards the hitting became a bit more hard hitting you could say, with the Manchester man getting some extra attention from the Sheffield side from that point on.  In the final period it saw Anthony Booth completing his hat trick to make the game 5-2 in favour of the Mayhem and that goal killed off the away sides chances of getting back into it.

Less than a minute later Booth struck again to take his tally to four goal for the match and that was soon followed by guest player Simon Berry, as he rounded off the scoring with a power play goal for 7-2.

Mayhem’s Four-goal Hero Anthony Booth Pic: 98 Yettii Photography

In the last minute of the game it saw Sheffield’s Barry Grayson collecting a Interference call along with a Abuse of official call as well, to rub salt into the wounds of the Steelkings side.

Sheffield in truth gave Manchester more than a scare in the game and the Steelkings just seemed to run out of steam late on, but they looked a like more motivated than ever this year than perhaps seasons gone by. 

Both sides over the next couple of day will be sore and know they were in a contest, after such a bruising encounter and that fact the sides meet again in Sheffield in just over three weeks time, it will certainly keep this rivalry fresh in the memory banks.