SWINDON Wildcats player-coach Aaron Nell was on target yet again as his side claimed victory over Peterborough Phantoms at the Link Centre tonight.

Nell registered back-to-back hat-tricks at home as the Wildcats required overtime to edge out the Phantoms 5-4 in NIHL South One - with D-man Stevie Whitfield the hero of the hour with the decisive strike late on.

With three wins in their last three games, Nell says he is delighted with the recent points haul and the character his team showed.

“It was a big result and a good hockey game,” said Nell, who played down his recent goal-scoring form.

“It is my job to score goals and I should have had about seven. Obviously I am here to coach too, but when I am on the ice it is my job to score, so I’m just doing my job.

“We came back twice and showed great character to score at the end.

“We always have tight games with this team and the last two times we played them they have beaten us.

“It’s important that we got the win because we needed to learn how to beat them.

“We’ve also played two tough games against Basingstoke Bison this week and we have showed how good we can be.”

After a plethora of chances on home ice falling to Nell and co, the Cats found themselves trailing 2-0 to their guests after the first period.

The game was only three minutes old when the Wildcats had their defence beaten for the first time, when Nathan Salem registered for the Phantoms.

The visitors then hit the post before Owen Griffiths notched, leaving Swindon with plenty of work to do in the second instalment.

In the second period, the Wildcats came to life as Nell scored twice to drag his team back into the contest.

His first rounded off a sweeping move which stemmed from Ben Nethersell, before his pass eventually found Nell to applythe finish, before netting his second less than five minutes later.

With the score reading 2-2 going into the final period, it looked as if the win was beyond the Wildcats as their counterparts kicked on a gear to take a 4-2 lead, courtesy of Tom Norton and Ales Padelek’s goals.

However, Edgars Bebris, who was playing his second game at the Link Centre, was the man to get Swindon within touching distance of the Phantoms with his first goal for the club, much to the pleasure of Nell.

“He scored a big goal. We changed things around a little bit and put him in the middle,” said Nell.

“He was a lot more comfortable there but he is going to take a little bit of time to get used to everything, but when he does, he will be a great player for us to have.”

Wildcats chief Nell had peppered Euan King’s goal all evening, and popped up with the equalising goal just two minutes before the end of the game, completing his hat-trick in the process.

In overtime, the Wildcats clinched the victory as Whitfield poked home to complete a staggering comeback.