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Match report: Swindon Wildcats 6 - 3 Bracknell Bees

posted 5 Mar 2018, 12:07 by john slater

Match report by Ashley Willit

After a snowy end to the week, the Bees headed down the M4 to see a familiar face in the Swindon Wildcats. In a game where the shots on goal stats definitely didn't tell the real story, the Bees put on a rather cold display to their travelling fans.

Starting in goal for the Bees was Danny Milton, while the Wildcats went with number one choice Renny Marr. In the stripes were referee Dan Boardman and linesmen Charlie West and Christopher Edwards.

Despite half the team helping to clear the snow from around the Link centre in the morning, the Wildcats certainly weren't looking tired and within two minutes had the first goal of the evening. A hopeful shot through a crowd from Sam Godfrey from the face-off circle avoided everyone, including Milton. The home side were 2-0 up minutes later as a mistake from Josh Tetlow gifted the puck to Max Birbraer who slid a pass across to the back post where Aaron Nell was on hand to tuck it home in the gaping net. A third was added on the ten minute mark as Nell once again found the back of the net with a beautiful shot, going top shelf on Milton who had no chance. At the other end, the Bees offence was just not troubling Marr with several shots going straight into his body.

If the first period started badly for the Bees, the second started even worse. With just over a minute on the clock and Jordan Kelsall got on the score-sheet, assisted by Birbraer and Phil Hill. That unfortunately spelled the end of Milton's time in goal as he was replaced by Alex Mettam. However things just kept getting worse for the Bees as on his first faced shot Edgars Bebris got in on the action. 5 quickly became 6 as the Wildcats were running away with the game without having to try too hard defensively. The Bees were getting shots in but they just either from too far out, or straight at the well positioned Marr. That was until Shaun Thompson found space through several players and scored a great unassisted goal while the Bees were shorthanded. Spurred on by this the Bees looked more dangerous, however had it not been for the heroics of Marr the lead could have been doubled as he made a crucial diving save, stopping the puck just as it was creeping over the line. With the period winding down Mettam was called into action to make a couple of brilliant saves, one from Sam Bullas and the other from Birbraer.

The third period was fairly flat from both sides. Swindon having done enough in the first two periods to put the game out of reach and Bracknell just not looking interested. With ten minutes gone Swindon put former Bees net-minder, Matt Smital in net to see out the game. The Bees managed to get a couple more with Josh Martin scoring a very well worked goal on 52 minutes and Callum Best bringing the game to 6-3 in the 57th. But it was too little, too late yet again.

Match stats

Period Scores: 3-0; 3-1; 0-2
Wildcats scorers: Nell 2+1; Bebris 2+0; Godfrey 1+1; Birbraer & Hill 0+2; Jones, Taylor, Bullas, Johnson, Kostal & Liddiard 0+1
Bees scorers: S.Thompson & Martin 1+1; Best 1+0; Bendik & Avery 0+1
Wildcats PIMS: 20 (Nell 10; Birbraer 4; Taylor, Bullas & Godfrey 2)
Bees PIMS: 16 (Galazzi & Bendik 4; Tetlow, Stead, Martin & Bench 2)
Shots on Wildcats (Marr & Smital): 35 (12, 16, 7) & 14 (0, 0, 14)
Shots on Bees (Milton & Mettam): 9 (8, 1, 0) & 17 (0, 12, 5