BRACKNELL Bees fans left The Hive on Sunday shaking their heads in disbelief, writes Dave Wright.

They had seen their side crash 6-2 to Basingstoke Bison - just a day after watching them thrash league leaders Peterborough Phantoms 8-2 with arguably their best display of the season.

They were two totally contrasting performances - and hard to fathom out as to why the Bees had gone from being heroes to zeroes in just 24 hours.

It could be argued that the tremendous non-stop effort put in against the table toppers had taken its toll on the players, but then Bison had also played on Saturday, defeating Milton Keynes Thunder 7-2.

Bees were outplayed in most department and, to add salt to their wounds, two of their former players shone for the visitors.

George Norcliffe scored two of the goals, while netminder Alex Mettam had an outstanding game, keeping out all but two of the 34 shots that came his way.

Danny Milton, who had been voted the man of the match against Peterborough, was beaten three times in the opening 11 minutes by Alex Sampford, Tom Ralph and Adam Harding and looked a very frustrated figure as he was replaced by former Bison netminder Dean Skinns. It was a night neither goalie will want to remember.

The same applies to Ryan Watt, who was involved in a punch up with ex-Bee Danny Ingoldsby shortly after Bees had conceded the third goal. He was in hot water again with the match officials early in the third period, picking up a second misconduct penalty and so being thrown out of the game with 38 penalty minutes chalked against his name.

Bees had a marginally better second period, conceding just one goal to Norcliffe with 37 minutes gone, but they remained far from their sharpest, losing too many 50-50 challenges and giving the puck away too easily.

They didn't start the final period well as within two minutes they conceded a fifth goal, with Norcliffe being given space and time to fire past Skinns.

With Bees on the power play, Zach Milton finally gave the home fans something to cheer about when he scored after 46 minutes, only to see Harding make it 6-1 a little over three minutes later.

James Galazzi, having gone close seconds earlier, added Bees' second goal, again on the power play, in the 53rd minute.

In all, Bees had 34 attempts on goal, but were never able to show the same clinical finishing they had shown the previous night when they had 37.

They demolished leaders Peterborough in the opening period building up a four-goal lead through Tyler Vankleef (2), Harvey Stead Watt and Zach Milton.

Ed Knaggs, who had been involved in the first and fourth goals, provided his third assist of the match when Josh Smith added the fifth goal a minute into the second period.

A stunned Phantoms side managed to get on the scoresheet themselves with a power-play goal from Ales Padelek in the 25th minute, only for Ryan Sutton to restore Bees' five-goal cushion just before the half-hour mark.

After Martins Susters had netted a second for the visitors, Smith scored again to make it 7-2 in the 42nd minute and Stuart Mogg added the eighth on 52 minutes, both being power-play goals set up by Ivan Antonov and Roman Malinik.

Peterborough will be back at The Hive a week on Saturday, February 2, for the first leg of the South Cup semi-final, with the return 24 hours later.

Bracknell, now down to fourth in the table, have only one match this coming weekend and that is on Saturday when they travel to sixth-placed Streatham (6.45pm face-off).