Peterborough Panthers hit rock bottom last night as another heavy defeat left them propping up the SGB Premiership (July 25).
The city club crashed to a fifth consecutive loss going down 55-35 at King’s Lynn in an A47 basement battle.
Carl Johnson’s men trailed by as few as four points after nine races, but were then stung by four 5-1s from their hosts, who went into the contest in bottom spot, in the remainder of the contest.
The success allowed King’s Lynn to leapfrog Panthers who now sit seven points off the play-off places with five further away meetings in a row to negotiate.
“We were well in the meeting up to heat 10, but four 5-1s in the last five races killed us off,” admitted Panthers team boss Johnson.
“It certainly wasn’t the way we wanted to finish the meeting and being bottom of the table is not where we want to be either.
“Everyone can see we’re in a really tough run of injuries and results, but we have to stay positive.
“The only way is up from here but we’ve all got to work even harder if that is to happen.”
Panthers were again let down by poor performances from their chosen guests – just as they were when losing at Wolverhampton on Monday.
Poole man Josh Grajczonek retired twice and managed only one point from four rides at number one while Simon Lambert, who was recently dropped by King’s Lynn, failed to score at reserve.
Fortunately another ex-Stars man was in much better form to ensure Panthers weren’t embarrassed.
Ty Proctor reeled off four successive victories – including one as a tactical substitute in heat nine – in a terrific 12-point haul before retiring from his final outing in heat 11.
Proctor inspired Panthers’ two race advantages which arrived back-to-back in the eighth and ninth instalments, while Rohan Tungate (who scored eight) and Charles Wright (who managed seven) also won heats.
Reserve Aaron Summers also rode steadily for his paid six but stand-in skipper Scott Nicholls endured a torrid night with his two points arriving in his last ride.
Johnson added: “Ty’s performance was the clear highlight for us and he has done very well since coming into the team.
“It’s no secret that we will be keeping him on now that his short-term deal has come to an end.
“But otherwise it was a case of riders not performing as they should and running far too many last places. It happened at Wolverhampton on Monday and happened again last night.
“It’s always tough to have to rely on guests and obviously the riders we’ve brought in haven’t got the points we hoped they would this week.
“Josh said he didn’t want to be paid for his guest appearance which shows how disappointed he was in his performance.”
Grajczonek will be an opponent for Panthers in their next meeting as they go to reigning champions Poole on Thursday (August 1).
Panthers have confirmed two of their remaining home meetings will take place on September 5 (versus Belle Vue) and September 9 (versus Swindon). They have also reserved September 19 as a date for an Alwalton fixture.
King’s Lynn: Craig Cook 10, Lewis Kerr 9+2, Robert Lambert 9+2, Michael Palm Toft 9+1, Thomas Jorgensen 8+1, Erik Riss 7+2, Nicklas Porsing 3+2.
Panthers: Ty Proctor 12, Rohan Tungate 8, Charles Wright 7, Aaron Summers 5+1, Scott Nicholls 2, Josh Grajczonek (guest) 1, Simon Lambert (guest) 0.