SWINDON WILDCATS: Aldridge speechless after fourth straight defeat
HEAD coach Ryan Aldridge admits he is still looking to get the balance of his side right after Swindon were subjected to their fourth successive defeat at home to Slough last night.
Ryan Watt’s early opener was rendered meaningless by goals from Matt Towalski and Darius Pliskauskas as Wildcats again suffered EPL disappointment despite initially holding the lead.
And Aldridge believes his players must show character if they are to emerge from their disappointing run of form.
He said: “I think we’re just in a rut at the moment where we've got to work hard and grind it out a little bit.
“It’s tough because last week we went away to Peterborough and scored six goals and lost a hockey match, and tonight I think we probably played better defensively but only managed to score one.
“It’s annoying and I’m speechless to be honest.
“I feel like I'm in a whirlwind because one minute we’re scoring six and losing and the next minute we're in a 2-1 hockey game.
“They had four or five chances that Stevie (Lyle) played great on in the third period, but we had our chances to tie it up as well.
“We brought in Ryan Watt because we wanted to roll three lines and last week it got us six goals, but we weren't very good defensively.
“I think the defence played better tonight but those three lines, especially in the middle period, looked flat. It’s hard to put my finger in it right now but we’ve got to grind it out.”
Missing forward Loris Taylor due to a bout of tonsillitis - confirmed by Aldridge afterwards - as in recent weeks, Swindon flew into an early lead.
With Mindy Kieras binned, forward Watt pounced 24 seconds into the powerplay to put the hosts in front (1.24), assisted by Jonas Hoog and Alex Symonds.
Wildcats were attacking at regular intervals and were unfortunate not to be further in front with Adam Harding amongst those worrying goaltender Kamil Jarina, but at the other end Aku Pekkarinen was required to intervene smartly after his mistake gifted Ales Padelek a clear run on goal.
Towalski undid the home side’s good work, though, when he levelled the match from close range at 14.31.
The second period was largely a non-event, featuring plenty of endeavour from both teams but little in the way of quality attempts on goal.
Again Padelek was denied a one-on-one with goaltender Lyle by an outstretched stick - this time that of home captain Shane Moore - but shortly after the visitors hit the front for the first time.
With the half-hour mark just gone and Slough players in number in front of Lyle’s goal, Wildcats’perennial tormentor Pliskauskas kept the coolest head of all to finish past the Welshman (30.19).
The third continued in a similar vein although some tension was injected into proceedings when both sides were forced to kill a powerplay each.
Swindon went for it in the final 10 minutes and Jarina was forced to contort himself into a number of shapes to keep the hosts out.
A final powerplay afforded Swindon fresh hope but although the visiting netminder was twice worried by the fizzing puck, his team emerged unscathed.
Wildcats pulled Lyle in the closing stages and Slough were hanging on for dear life in the dying seconds, but the home forwards could not find a route to goal.
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