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Fans urged to roar Deeside Dragons to safety

Plea to supporters to be 'extra player on the ice' ahead of crucial home clash with Whitley Warriors

Deeside Dragons player-coach Scott McKenzie(Image: Peter Sheffield)

Deeside Dragons player-coach Scott McKenzie has called on supporters to roar his side to safety.

The Dragons have three games to secure their survival in NIHL North One (Moralee Conference) - starting with tomorrow's (Sunday) visit of Whitley Warriors to Deeside Ice Rink (5.45pm face-off).

And McKenzie said: “The next three games are massive for us and it all starts this Sunday at home to Whitley.

“We have given a good account of ourselves this season and we don’t feel like we deserve to be relegated but that’s the nature of a good league.

“It has been nip and tuck all year and we will do everything we can to stay in this conference.

“I urge the fans to get down to The Den this Sunday and be that extra player on the ice. Whitley are a tough team but we can compete with them, we know this, it just comes down to character and temperament.

“The boys are ready, get behind us.”

A win on Sunday could lift the Dragons off the bottom and out of the one relegation place.

Doors open at 5pm and entry costs £7 for adults and £3 for children.

Deeside remained rooted to the foot of the table after back-to-back defeats in their big weekend double-header.

The Dragons kicked-off two crucial clashes with a 3-1 loss at relegation rivals Sutton Sting last Saturday.

Joseph Colton fired the Sting in front inside four minutes but his strike was almost immediately cancelled out by Ross Kennedy, who finished off good play by Matthew Wainwright and Geoff Wigglesworth to bring Deeside level.

And that was the way it stayed until the final 10 minutes of the match when Lloyd Gibson and James Spurr netted to earn Sutton a win that moved them away from the danger zone.

The Dragons then travelled to Billingham Stars last Sunday.

The second-placed Stars raced into a three-goal lead thanks to Jack Watkins (2) and Michael Bowman.

And it was a lead that they extended in the second period through Thomas Keeley.

By that stage, however, the match had become a much more even affair.

It came as no surprise, then, when McKenzie smashed a shot into the roof of the net after being played in by Kennedy and Joshua Richardson.

And it got better for McKenzie’s men when captain James Parsons poked home, assisted by Filip Supa and Kennedy.

Billingham responded, with Watkins completing his hat-trick, before Ryan Kemp linked up with Parsons and Gavin Austin to reduce the deficit once more.

That was as good as it got, however, and with netminder Denis Bell pulled, Chris Sykes took full advantage.

The fit-again McKenzie, who was named the Dragons’ man of the match, said: “We just didn’t get off the bus until 10 minutes into the first period.

“They started with great intensity and got three quick goals and knocked the wind out of us.

“But we came back and made a game out of it in the end and, I think that with one or two bounces here or there, it could have been a different game.”

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