Praise for young Thunder netminder despite heavy defeat

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YOUNG MK Thunder goalie Jordan Hedley faced a barrage of shots on Sunday as his side suffered a 9-1 defeat to league leaders Chelmsford Chieftains.

After a good performance in only losing 5-2 to the National League Division One South table toppers a week earlier, Thunder were blown away on this occasion and Hedley faced his toughest ever test between the pipes.

Despite having home advantage, Thunder were never at the races against a fast, clinical Chieftains side that will no doubt be challenging for the title this season, while the city side find themselves struggling at the wrong end of the table.

Although Thunder took the lead in the fourth minute when Jamie Randall slotted home a pass from brother Greg, the hosts never looked like competing with Chieftains who put in more effort, were quicker, and had more passion for the contest. It was a very disappointing display for Thunder, which came after visible improvements in recent games.

Throughout the opening period, 16-year-old Hedley was kept extremely busy in goal. It’s not often that a netminder faces 32 shots in a game, never mind a period, but defensively Thunder could not keep out the Chelmsford offence and were 5-1 down by the first break.

The second period started slightly better with Thunder managing to stem the flow for 10 minutes, but another three goals in five minutes highlighted the difference between the teams and Chieftains went into the final period with a more than comfortable 8-1 lead.

Even Thunder’s powerplay had little effect, with Chieftains easily killing off three minor penalities in the final period while scoring their ninth goal of the night in the process.

This was certainly a bad night at the office for Thunder, who will be looking to sort out their problems before this Saturday’s visit from the unbeaten Romford Raiders, face off 7pm.