MATCH REPORT: Swindon 4, Phantoms 5: Perfect response from the Phantoms

Phantoms' Nathan Salem (right) was a goal-scoring man-of-the-match at Swindon.
Phantoms' Nathan Salem (right) was a goal-scoring man-of-the-match at Swindon.
0
Have your say

Head coach Slava Koulikov dished out the plaudits after seeing Peterborough Phantoms produce a perfect response last night (November 5).

The city men moved back into a two-point lead at the NIHL Division One South summit thanks to a terrific 5-4 triumph at title rivals Swindon.

Darius Pliskauskas scored for Phantoms in Swindon.

Darius Pliskauskas scored for Phantoms in Swindon.

And the Wiltshire success against the Wildcats ensured Phantoms returned to winning ways less than 24 hours after seeing their perfect start to the league season ended by a surprise home slip-up against London Raiders the previous night.

Koulikov said: “We all know what happened on Saturday was unacceptable, but we bounced back really well.

“We discussed what we could do better and huge credit goes to the players for how they performed against a very good Swindon team in their own building.

“They identified a defeat had been coming for a while and it was great to have the chance to put it right 24 hours later.

“It shows the character and quality we have to follow up a defeat on our home ice with a win on the road.

“The guys fought really hard. The ‘D’ guys kept it simple and the forwards did their job of putting the puck in the net.

“There is no doubt about it – beating Swindon home and away are huge results.”

The two teams traded early goals last night. Swindon hit the front through Sam Zajac with only 61 seconds on the clock but Nathan Salem soon had Phantoms on level terms.

That’s the way it stayed until another bout of scoring activity just before the mid-point of the contest.

Again it was the Wildcats who edged ahead as Chris Jones struck on a powerplay, but Phantoms responded just 47 seconds later when making a numerical advantage of their own count through ex-Swindon man Owen Griffiths.

Ales Padelek then lit the lamp on another powerplay as Phantoms eased into the lead for the first time, but that advantage was wiped out by the hosts early in the final session through Neil Liddiard.

However, a spell of two goals in the space of just 17 seconds – from Will Weldon and Darius Pliskauskas – proved decisive for Phantoms.

Swindon pulled netminder Renny Marr late on and did succeed in halving their deficit through Sam Bullas, but Phantoms held firm to pocket two precious points.

They remain at the head of NIHL Division One South affairs, but have played one game more than second-placed Bracknell who trail them by two points.

Third-placed Basingstoke, who still boast a 100 per-cent record, are four points adrift with three games in hand.

Phantoms are back in league action when they host Milton Keynes Thunder at Planet Ice this Saturday (November 11, 7pm). They then return to Hull – the scene of one of their two defeats this season – the following night (November 12) for what is likely to prove a crucial Group B game in the NIHL National Cup.

MATCH DETAILS

Goals

Swindon

1:01 Zajac ass: Birbraer/Nell

29:08 Jones (PP) ass: Zajac/Kostal

42:48 Liddiard ass: Kostal/Hill

59:33 Bullas ass: Zajac/Birbraer

Phantoms

4:32 Salem unassisted

29:55 Griffiths (PP) ass: Norton/J. Ferrara

35:20 Padelek (PP) unassisted

49:18 Weldon ass: Salem/Russell

49:35 Pliskauskas unassisted

Men-of-the-match

Swindon – Stephen Whitfield

Phantoms – Nathan Salem