SLOUGH Jets were narrowly edged out 4-3 by Lee Valley Lions at The Hangar on Saturday night.

The first period was quiet for both teams with few stoppages and no penalties, but Slough were the dominant side.

Nathan Darmanin had an excellent chance for the hosts early on, hustling into the offensive zone to chase down the puck for a breakaway, but he mishandled the puck as he swept in front of the net and could not get a shot off.

Slough found a breakthrough in the 13th minute when, after a scramble in front of the net, the puck came to Liam Underdown and he flipped it up over the left shoulder of Tipple.

Underdown had two more chances late in the period, but his first shot was saved by James Tipple, before the puck was promptly sent back out to him in the right face-off circle. This time his attempt was blocked by a Lee Valley defenceman.

Slough’s Rob Johnston then gained possession and took a shot, but Tipple deflected the puck over the net and the first period ended with Slough 1-0 up.

The Jets had two shots on goal within the first minute of the second period, before Lee Valley had a two-on-one chance.

But a Slough defenceman dropped down between the players and the pass went wide.

Slough netminder Simon Johnston had to dive forward out of his crease to stab away the puck with his stick and before he could get back in between the pipes, Hepburn had a wide open right side of the net in front of him. But he rushed the shot and missed.

Lions finally found an equaliser in the 29th minute when Nicholas Alley and Ben Duffy sent the puck up the ice to Chris Fox, who skated over the blue line and took a slap shot that slipped in under Johnston.

Slough had two men in the penalty box midway through the period, but Lee Valley could not capitalise, yet after the Jets returned to full strength, the Lions did find a second goal.

The Jets held the puck behind their net as they looked to start an offensive push, but then a long pass up the ice was met by Lee Valley at the blue line and the Lions rushed back down the ice and Fox fired in his second goal from the right circle, assisted by Duffy and Allen.

The visitors started the third stanza perfectly, as Fox scored an insurance goal just 20 seconds after the restart, securing his hat-trick and the man-of-the-match award.

Lee Valley needed the cushion too, as Slough were back on the scoreboard with just under 10 minutes remaining when Erik Knizat found the back of the net, assisted by Jamie Joyce and Ashley West.

For the next few minutes, Slough fired shot after shot at Tipple in a desperate attempt to draw level. But he held firm, and to the home fans’ dismay, the Lions put themselves ahead by two goals again.

Berry was given the puck in front of the net and punched it in through traffic to make the score 4-2.

But just 34 seconds later, Slough drew to within one again when Adam Harris took a shot and beat Tipple with 4.35 remaining.

Slough continued to fight for the equaliser, but Tipple was firm as he stopped 25 shots in the period – and a staggering 52 in the game.

Olly Shone scored twice and Adrian Smith, Richard Hargreaves and Grant Richardson were also on target as Jets drew 5-5 at Bristol Pitbulls on Sunday.

Slough Jets travel to second-placed Chelmsford Warriors this Sunday (6.30pm).