Monday 19 February 2024

Match Report: Widnes Wild 2 – Nottingham Lions 5 (Moralee Division)

Flynn Massie scored his first goal for the Wild and was named MVP in the match against Nottingham – photo by Steve Cunningham

Sunday 18th February – Moralee Division: Widnes Wild 2 – Nottingham Lions 5

The Widnes Wild NIHL team had a disappointing - and winless – weekend, losing 9-0 away to north west rivals Blackburn Hawks in the M56 Cup on Saturday and then crashing 2-5 to league strugglers Nottingham Lions in the Moralee Division at Planet Ice Widnes on Sunday. 

On Sunday, it was a short-benched Wild that took on league strugglers Nottingham Lions at Planet Ice Widnes and the game didn’t really go to expectations.

Widnes actually took the lead after just 34 seconds with a goal from Will Harper picking up a pass from player coach Joey Coulter but Nottingham equalised 3 minutes later with a powerplay goal punishing a Damarni James tripping penalty and then went ahead with a second goal on 11 minutes.

At 1-2 down after the first period, there seemed little cause for concern but as the game went on, the Wild’s fortunes showed no sign of improving. They had their chances in front of goal but were unable to make the most of them and Nottingham edged further ahead with goals on 34 and 38 minutes to lead 1-4 at the end of the second period.

The Lions scored again on 48 minutes, leaving Widnes with a lot of catching up to do in the closing stages and the home side finally found the back of the net again with a last gasp goal from Flynn Massie. That was the young Scottish player’s first goal for Wild and he was rewarded with the MVP award.

The result leaves the Wild in a rather uncomfortable position in the lower half of the Moralee Division table – in 7th place with 19 points from their 27 league games to date. They could – mathematically, at least - still be overtaken by both Nottingham Lions and Sheffield Scimitars who are in 8th and 9th place respectively, but they are engaged in their own battle to avoid the wooden spoon and overall league form for the season suggests that all three clubs will probably finish up in the places they are currently in. 

The Wild NIHL team are next in action this Sunday 25th February when they take on strugglers Sheffield Scimitars in the game that had to be rescheduled from 19th November due to a Carbon Monoxide issue at the Widnes rink.

Following that, Widnes have a run of 4 tantalising clashes with local rivals Blackburn Hawks and Deeside Dragons - once home and once away in each case – to round off their regular season schedule.

While local bragging rights will clearly be at stake in these games, the main aim will be to ensure that the Wild accrue points to finish in the best possible position in the Moralee Division table ready for the end of season play offs – the quarter finals of which take place over the last weekend in March.