SWINDON ROBINS 46 EASTBOURNE EAGLES 44: Tight win delights Rossiter
5:30am Friday 25th April 2014 in By Michael Reeves, Deputy sports editor
SWINDON Robins team manager Alun Rossiter says that his team can build on their narrow victory over Eastbourne Eagles.
Following Good Friday’s double defeat to Poole Pirates, Robins had to come out firing against Eastbourne at the Abbey Stadium and, in a see-saw battle, the hosts claimed the success in the final heat and will hope to follow that up this evening at Lakeside Hammers.
And while it wasn’t the greatest display from the hosts, Rossiter is pleased to get the win under his belt following a week which has seen him replace Nicolai Klindt with Dakota North.
“I’m happy with the win considering what has gone on,” Rossiter said. “We can build in this for sure.
“It is going to be key (getting that first away win), but it is going to be tough as Lakeside are good at home, if we can get a point up there I will be happy.
“I’m not normally this negative, but I’ll take anything we can at the moment because of the situation we are in.”
With Troy Batchelor heading off to the European GP today and missing the meet at Lakeside, Bjarne Pedersen will replace the Aussie again, while Steve Worrall is unavailable with Benji Compton coming back into the team.
Rossiter said that he was pleased with how North performed on his debut at Blunsdon, but his biggest concern is Simon Gustafsson as he struggled once again.
“I’ve had a good chat with Simon (Gustafsson) and he is going to invest in a new engine, we know he is better than that, he is just not quick enough,” Rossiter said.
“The bikes are fine, he knows that he has got to do something otherwise he is wasting his time and our time.
“Dak (Dakota North) showed that he has got the fire, you can see the difference.
“He struggled on an engine that was a little too flat for him, he is going to get that serviced, but he came out in his other one and showed in heat 12 and won it comfortably.
“He will be fine in a couple more meetings, I thought that he showed a bit of fire and grit and I’m happy with that.”
Having axed Klindt from the Robins line-up at the start of the week, Australian youngster North came in for his Swindon debut, while Rossiter also switched two of his riders around with Nick Morris at three and captain Batchelor at five.
Kildemand got the night off to a fine start for Swindon as he fought off Bjarne Pedersen, while Dakota North snatched third on the final bend of the opening heat.
But the Eagles hit back in heat two as Lewis Blackbird helped the visitors to a 4-2 as Robins’ Dan Greenwood fell on the first bend of lap two before retiring.
Batchelor and Morris led from start to finish for a maximum for Robins in heat three, while in heat four Timo Lahti held off Gustafsson to take the heat, while Greenwood slipped into last place after a promising start.
Kildemand and Batchelor got off to a flying start in heat five and battled all way the for the heat and it was the Dane who took glory on the final bend for a second maximum on the night for the hosts.
Gustafsson crashes out as Morris took heat six, while in heat seven North battled hard but he could not prevent the Mikkel Michelsen and Lewis Blackbird claiming a maximum for the visitors and bring the score back to 22-20.
Eagles pair Joonas Kykmakorpi and Timo Lahti got off to a fine start but Morris battled back for second to prevent the visitors from taking the lead for the first time in heat eight, however, in the following heat the Eagles soared into the lead with Blackbird taking the flag with Worrall second.
Kildemand’s fine night continued in heat 10 as he romped to his third win of the night to help bring the hosts within two points of the Eagles.
Michelsen rides superbly to claim the win in heat 11 before North secures his first win in Robins’ colours.
But Robins moved back into the lead in heat 13 following another great battle between the Robins’ Dane and Aussie with Kildemand again victorious.
Gustafsson’s problems continued in the penultimate heat as he retired in the opening lap as Eagles’ Michelsen took the visitors back into the lead going into the final heat of the night.
Batchelor and Kildemand renewed their fantastic battle on the night with the Dane claiming his fifth success in heat 15 to seal a narrow win for the hosts.
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