THE Warriors opened the defence of their English National League title with a comfortable 6-2 win after an immaculately observed minute’s silence for the 9/11 victims and the tragic air crash involving a Russian ice hockey team last week.
Sheffield always proved to be stubborn defensive opponents and it took Whitley 14 minutes to make the breakthrough via Callum Watson from close range.
Jamie Tinsley then combined with Bryan Dunn to score a second before Spartans pulled a goal back.
However, the home side restored their two-goal lead as Watson netted again, although Ollie Barron grabbed Sheffield’s second before the end of the period.
But that was to be as close as the visitors got, Whitley scoring three times in as many minutes. Callum Watson completed his hat-trick and Jordan Barnes found the net before Shaun Kippin completed the victory.