Updated: Thursday, 24th April 2014 @ 9:03pm

Free-scoring Manchester Phoenix remain top of English Premier League after four point weekend

Free-scoring Manchester Phoenix remain top of English Premier League after four point weekend

By Steven Oldham

Manchester Phoenix showed lethal form in front of goal this weekend while beating Slough Jets and Bracknell Bees - results which see the Altrincham team a point clear at the top of the EPL table.

Phoenix recovered from going 2-0 down to beat Jets 7-5, and went on to record their third win in as many games with a 7-1 demolition of Bees at the Ice Dome.

They now have 20 points, one more than nearest rivals Basingstoke Bison and two ahead of reigning champions Guildford Flames.

Jets made Phoenix work for their win, holding a two goal lead three times, but a late surge saw Manchester come from 5-3 down to grab an impressive 7-5 victory.

Slough started quickly and were two goals up in seven minutes thanks to Darius Pliskauskas and Mindy Kieras, but Joachim Flaten and Andy McKinney levelled things before the end of the first period.

Jets however, went in a goal to the good through a controversial penalty. Aaron Connolly fired home after the visitors were penalised for an icing infringement by the Phoenix second line, with the call coming late.

The home side went 4-2 ahead through Frantisek Bakrlik early in the second, but were again pegged back by Ondrej Pozivil (assists Scott McKenzie and James Archer).

Despite Phoenix's pressing, Jets two goal advantage was restored by Bakrlik's second of the game and even though Phoenix spent much of the period on top, they went in 5-3 down.

A defiant Manchester team emerged for the final period however and the fightback began with a rare goal for Ben Wood (assists Richard Bentham and McKinney) less than two minutes after the restart.

Coach Tony Hand and Flaten helped Michal Psurny level the scores and the visitors took the lead for the first time in the game through Robert Schnabel with ten minutes left.

The tiring Jets could not do anything to stop McKinney sealing a memorable away victory for Jets with approximately 90 seconds left on the clock.

Buoyed by this victory, the result against Bracknell never looked in doubt - Phoenix led 3-0 after the first thanks to goals from Schnabel, McKinney and Psurny.

Rob Lamey gave Bees some hope with his side's only goal, but Ciaran Long rubberstamped Phoenix's four point weekend midway through the second period.

Psurny and Richard Bentham hit goals within 30 seconds of each other in the third, and Bees netminder Tom Annetts was pulled off as a result, being replaced by Carl Ambler.

The change did Bees no good however and Psurny completed his hat-trick six minutes from time.

This week, Phoenix face a ghoulish encounter on Halloween as they travel to Peterborough Phantoms - who scored an upset victory over Slough yesterday.

On Sunday, they host Sheffield Steeldogs with the usual starting time of 5.30.

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Photo: Rai Pekannen