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Nottingham Lions 3 Widnes Wild 4
11:19am Thursday 20th February 2014 in Sport
THE remarkable rise in the fortunes of Widnes Wild was further emphasised on Sunday night when they came away from the National Ice Centre with two valuable league points.
The game got off to a sensational start with a Widnes goal in just five seconds. From the face off, Widnes attacked and Daniel Bracegirdle fired home past Alan Levers - with the netminder apparently 'screened' by a defenceman.
One of the quickest goals on record prompted a marvellous end to end contest which hung in the balance until the final buzzer.
The equaliser came in the 15th minute when American forward, Luke Branin, fired an angled shot into the right corner of the net.
The second period went the way of the home side. with Dan Hazeldine firing high past Gilmartin to give the Lions a lead.
As the period drew to a close, first Ben Brown on the left and a Callum Ruddick shot from the blue line almost brought the equaliser.
The final period saw the visitors in determined mood and when Bobby Caunce broke clear, a clever final deke from the star centreman almost beat Levers. Within a minute Wild were on the powerplay again and when Caunce's fierce shot was blocked, Ben Brown took the rebound to shoot home the equaliser at 42.54.
With the game finely balanced, a touch of inspiration was needed and it came from new signing Geoff Wigglesworth.
He had arrived late in Nottingham due to work commitments, but he proved to be the match winner. He put Wild ahead in the 51st minute on the powerplay to slot home from close range.
Nottingham equalised with an angled shot from Connor Glossop in the 52nd minute.
With the game finely poised, netminder Gilmartin found Bobby Caunce who broke clear supported by Wigglesworth. A perfectly timed pass found saw the new signing hit a one timer into the net and give the visitors the lead. On Sunday, Wild travel to the Midlands to take on runaway league leaders Solihull Barons (6pm).
The visitors will be hoping to reproduce the outstanding form which has led to four successive victories.