Aldridge’s side bounce back from Bison loss with a hard-fought win
5:30am Monday 10th February 2014 in By Ned Payne
RYAN Aldridge admitted Wildcats should have won by a bigger margin after watching his team edge out Slough 3-2 at the Link Centre last night.
Goals from Aaron Nell, Sam Bullas and Jan Kostal proved enough, but Swindon were not at their most convincing in the EPL clash.
And head coach Aldridge said: "We made very hard work of it. I thought we worked as hard as they did at the start of the game but in general we were off tonight.
"Coming in 1-0 up after the first period I thought we were quite unlucky. We had a lot of chances in the first and middle periods, but they had a lot of chances at the end to tie it up."
Nell fired Swindon in front during a four-on-four (18.41), but Dan Rose levelled at 43.10.
Bullas made it 2-1 on the powerplay when he pounced on the rebound (43.10), before Kostal's low slapshot appeared to have made the game safe.
However, Slough’s Ryan Webb made matters interesting at 54.38 and big saves from goaltender Stevie Lyle in the closing stages proved crucial for Swindon.
Swedish import Jonas Hoog played no part in the third period after picking up an injury in the second.
Aldridge added: "Jonas will be assessed on Monday morning. There was no point in him playing on and making it worse.
"Maybe him not playing in the third period made the other boys play a bit harder, who knows?"
On Saturday, Aldridge was left fuming after seeing Wildcats have a goal washed out at a critical point in the 3-2 defeat in Basingstoke.
Swindon had just drawn level at 2-2 in the second period when Henri Sandvik beautifully beat Dean Skinns in the Bison goal, but referee David Cloutman ruled the net had moved.
Joe Greener then won the game for the home team with five and a half minutes left to play, putting Aldridge in less than contented mood after the final buzzer.
"I think we got beat by more than just a hockey team tonight," he said.
"I thought Henri's goal was a legitimate goal and a great goal, but it was disallowed and it's left a very bitter taste in my mouth.
"I didn't see that the net was off its moorings (when the puck went in) and as far as I'm concerned it was a goal.
"The goalie was lost, he was on his chest when the puck went in the net. That would have been a massive goal for us."
Outshot 40-19 on the night, Swindon found themselves a 1-0 down with less than three minutes played when Aaron Connolly struck on the powerplay (2.38).
Nell levelled for the shorthanded visitors at 14.36, but 90 seconds into the second period Tomas Karpov scored with a wraparound effort.
Bullas pulled the visitors level from the edge of the crease (30.41) before Sandvik's effort was chalked off, with worse to follow when Hoog was thrown out for a check from behind on Doug Sheppard.
At 54.30, the Bison delivered the knockout blow when Nicky Chinn's shot bounced loose off Lyle and Greener tapped into the net.