BRACKNELL Bees are preparing for what could well be their spiciest game of the season so far this season, writes Dave Wright.

Their visitors at The Hive on Sunday (6pm) will be Basingstoke Bison, which means Bees coach Doug Sheppard and several of his players will be facing their former club.

“It could be interesting,” admitted Bees skipper Joe Baird, whom Sheppard brought with him from Bison in the close season.

“There’s going to be a little extra spice on Sunday.”

His table-topping side are also under some pressure as they will be looking to avoid their third home defeat in succession.

Last weekend they went down 5-4 to Peterborough Phantoms, having lost 4-3 in overtime to Swindon Wildcats a week earlier.

“We don’t want to be losing any games and two home defeats in a row is pretty unacceptable.”

As a result, Baird is predicting a tougher than usual training session for his team this week as Sheppard looks to get them back on the winning trail.

For a time last Saturday, it did appear they were on the right route when they pulled back a 3-1 first-period deficit to lead Peterborough 4-3 going into the final period, only to concede two further goals.

“It wasn’t the ideal result for us,” admitted Baird.

“I just didn’t think we showed our A-game and worked hard enough at the end of the day.

“Obviously we are going to make mistakes as we are a new bunch of guys playing together.

“Our reaction time of what we do after we make that mistake has got to be much quicker. We need to get back behind the puck and defend properly.”

Despite their third defeat in 10 fixtures, Bees remain top of the NIHL South One standings with 15 points, two ahead of second-placed Streatham. But that will change on Saturday (5.30pm) as the top two clash in south west London.

Bison currently lie sixth in the table, but have played only five games, four of which resulted in victory.

As it is close to Halloween, fans are being invited to turn up wearing scary costumes.