MATCH REPORT: FRI 2ND NOV 18

The defending Autumn Cup champions surrendered an early two-goal lead as the hosts scored shortly before the conclusion of the opening third before three goals in just 12 minutes in the middle period reversed Phantoms’ deficit into a healthy lead.

A powerplay goal by player-coach Aaron Nell with 13 minutes remaining on the clock handed Swindon a slight momentum swing prior to the sounding of the final buzzer.

However, it’s only half-time for Nell’s troops as the Wildcats prepare to welcome Slava Koulikov’s men to Wiltshire for the second leg next Friday night, November 9.

Nell said: “After the second period, I would’ve bitten someone’s hand off if I knew it was going to be a one goal game.

“It’s still all to play for. We started the game great, though in the middle we were horrific - and Peterborough were good.

“The third period evened out, we’re happy to be where we are after the second period.

“We’re in a situation where we’ve got to win a game at home, and in the last 15 months we’ve been excellent on home ice.

“We’ve got to make sure we play hard, if we do that we’ll have a chance.

“We’re happy with the result, considering the second period. We have lots of positives to take forward, now we’ve got to get this weekend out of the way and concentrate on Friday at home.”

There’s no option for rest ahead of next week’s second leg tie for Wildcats though as two league fixtures present themselves this weekend, starting tonight at home against Invicta (6.15pm).

Despite beating Invicta 4-0 and 8-0 in their two league fixtures to date this season, Nell insists his troops must be on guard and skate with discipline after momentarily losing focus against the Phantoms last night in the Autumn Cup.

“We have two big games, and we need to make sure we get four points from those games,” said Nell.

“That way, we can then focus on Friday.

“But, it’s a busy schedule right now and we need to get these two fixtures out of the way so we can focus on that second leg.

“Invicta have had a tough start to the year, but we will have to be smart in the way we play and be more disciplined than we were tonight.”

Following tonight’s fixture, Wildcats will hit the road once more to take Milton Keynes Thunder in another league contest.

Two points will once again be on coach Nell’s mind, especially following last weekend’s 9-0 success at home against tomorrow night’s opponents.

@SWINWILDCATS