SWINDON Wildcats’ player-coach Aaron Nell highlighted his team’s character as they came from behind to kick-start 2018 with a 5-3 win over Bracknell Bees at the Link Centre.


The Cats were two goals behind at the start of the third period, but due to a flutter of late goals they were able to to the contest on its head to claim victory.


Nell, who scored one of three third-period goals, was delighted with the result after a mediocre opening two periods.


“I think we struggled in the opening two periods,” he said.


“In the third period they got their goal and I think it was a bit of a wake-up call because after that, we were very good.


“It was tough. We have played a lot of games recently, but we needed to be better than what we were in those two periods.


“Floyd Taylor came up with two big goals, so we have to be happy that we won. Obviously we aren’t happy about the first two periods but we showed great character.’’ Captain Jan Kostal was handed a great chance to give the Cats the lead when he was awarded a penalty shot, before it was beaten away by Daniel Milton.


Minutes later Nell’s troops were behind as netminder Smital struggled to deal with Callum Best’s strike.


The second period proved to be equally frustrating for the hosts, who managed to get back level through Sam Godfrey in the 23rd minute.


However, less than two minutes later, Bracknell were back in from thanks to Tom Avery’s frenetic finish to give the visitors a 2-1 lead.


The third and final period saw the away side immediately jump on the Cats to make it 3-1, with Scott Spearing notching 33 seconds after the restart.


The game was in danger of descending into a dreary contest, but Edgars Bebris was able to spark some interest when he registered.


The goal had given the home side a much-needed boost in confidence and they almost drew level when Sam Bullas hit the post from close range after he was picked out by Nell.


Taylor took the game by the scruff of the neck with nine minutes to go as he demanded the puck before driving towards goal and squeezed the puck past Milton.


Less than 30 seconds later, in the 51st minute, Nell notched to make it 4-3 before Taylor added his second in the 53rd minute, to put the hosts two goals ahead.