Quick-fire goals hand Swindon the points

Sunday, 18th September 2016

Manchester Phoenix were unfortunate to come away from Wiltshire with a 5-2 defeat against the Swindon Wildcats on Saturday night.

Phoenix started in the ascendancy and opened the scoring with their first shot as Edgars Bebris found the top corner at 1:51 following a pass up the middle from James Neil.  However, a giveaway at the back allowed Tomasz Malasinski to equalise at 3:33.  Robin Kovar had a backhanded effort saved but the home side grew into the game as the period progressed and it was Max Birbraer who grabbed the next goal at 15:09.

The second period was a much more equal affair with Phoenix dominating the opening exchanges as Kovar was denied on a breakaway and Roman Malinik missing an empty goal with a rebound minutes later.  The deserved equaliser arrived at 30:08 when Malinik went top shelf following a drop pass from Joni Tuominen.

Phoenix’s hard work was undone by two quick Swindon goals through Ben Davies on the powerplay at 32:12 and Malasinski’s second at 33:28.  Phoenix had chances to get back in the game, the best of which saw Marek Indra hit the post as the period ended 4-2.

Both sides had chances to get on the scoreboard in the final period – Kovar created a chance all for himself after slaloming past three Swindon players whilst an almighty goalmouth scramble at the other end almost saw Swindon force the puck in.  As Phoenix pushed for a late goal, Swindon broke away as Aaron Nell sneaked the puck past Fone at 59:43 to put a rather undeserved gloss on the score-line.

Phoenix Coach Tony Hand commented: “I thought it was a close contest tonight, and with a little bit of luck in front of goal, we might have taken something from the game.  It’s obviously tough with a lack of bodies at the moment but there were plenty of positives and it’s pleasing to see that we’re starting to gel as a team.”

Phoenix are at home on Sunday evening against the Milton Keynes Lightning, with a 5pm face-off in Blackpool.