WIDNES Wild had a weekend to forget as they suffered back to back defeats — 3-2 away to Sheffield Senators on Saturday and then 6-4 at home to Hull Jets at Silver Blades Widnes on Sunday, writes Paul Breeze.

The game on Saturday at Sheffield saw a very subdued performance by the Wild team. It took them a while to get going and goals in the 8th and 9th minutes saw the Senators take a two-goal lead into the first break.

Wild pulled a goal back just 30 seconds after the restart through Nick Manning and Stuart Brittle equalised in the third period.

The Wild upped their game considerably during this final third and out-shot their hosts by 16 to 5 but, try as they might, they were unable to breach the stubborn Senators defence.

The game winning goal for the Senators came with just 1.05 left on the clock and the Wild were left with plenty of things to think about ahead of the game against Hull the night after.

Sunday night’s game against Hull was a very close fought and entertaining affair for the neutral fan but an absolute nightmare for any Widnes supporter.

Anybody hoping for an instant backlash after the previous day’s defeat will have been disappointed as the Wild struggled to break down an incredibly well-organised Hull team and, once again, went in two goals behind at the first break.

It wasn’t a bad performance as such by the Widnes team but they were matched play-for-play by the visitors and Hull made the most of their chances in front of goal whereas the Wild didn’t.

The situation got even worse early in the second period when Widnes went 0-3 down to a powerplay goal while Tom Ratcliffe was sitting out a cross-checking penalty.

Then, just on the halfway stage of the game, something seemed to click and the Wild suddenly found their form in front of goal. In an incredible eight minute session saw goals by player coach Ollie Barron, two, Kyle Haslam and Tom Ratcliffe.

Then 90 seconds into the penalty, the Jets equalised with a powerplay goal.

A very tense phase ensued with both sides pushing for a winner. With 10 minutes to play, the Wild thought that they should been awarded a penalty shot when Tom Ratcliffe was brought down while bearing in on goal.

Another powerplay goal for the Jets with just three minutes left to play put them back into the lead and, when the Wild pulled netminder Phil Crosby for the last 30 seconds of the game, it was almost inevitable that Hull would round off the scoring with an empty net goal.

Afterwards, Wild player coach Ollie Barron said: “It was a very disappointing weekend overall and to drop 4 points this weekend against Sheffield and Hull was disappointing.

“We knew we faced a difficult challenge with two tricky fixtures and I was disappointed we didn’t play for a full 60 minutes in Sheffield - something I have made clear for a number of weeks. The 2nd and 3rd periods in Sheffield were improved, but the overall performance was nowhere near the level I expect from the team.

“In Sunday’s game against Hull, I felt we started the game at a much higher tempo.

“ I thought we actually were playing quite well despite finding ourselves 3-0 down. To fight back and get ourselves ahead to 4-3 was promising but running into penalty trouble killed us and saw Hull take the two points.

“We have next weekend off to regroup before 3 vital fixtures before the Christmas break. There’s a lot of hockey left to be played yet, with still over half the season remaining, we remain focussed and will get ready to go again.”

The Wild have no game this weekend and are back in action on Sunday 10th December when they face Bradford Bulldogs at Silver Blades Widnes.

The home game against Bradford will be the occasion for the club’s annual “Teddy Toss” where fans are asked to bring along soft toys to be donated to local charities and good causes in the run up to the festive period. At a pre-determined point in the game, a signal will go off and everybody will throw their soft toys onto the ice for collection - so all toys need to be protectively wrapped so that they don’t get water damaged.

An announcement will be made nearer the time as to which good causes will benefit from the donations and also at what point of the game the teddies will be tossed.

The Widnes Wild women’s team will be in action this Sunday 3rd December as they play Milton Keynes Falcons in the Women’s Premier League at Silver Blades Widnes – 5.30pm face off.

The Falcons are third in the WPL table having won 2 of their first 4 league games while the Wild women have yet to notch up a point from their two games to date.