FOR the second time in a week, Swindon Robins let a lead slip away from home as they fell to a 48-42 loss at King’s Lynn last night.
Yes, Alun Rossiter’s men did claim a point and were the first side to deny the Stars maximum home points so far this season, but the Robins camp was a deflated one at the end of the televised meeting as they considered what might have been.
Lynn provided five of the first eight heat winners, although the ultra-consistent Robins still had a healthy eight-point lead heading into the second reserves race, but, just as in Monday’s loss at Wolves, the heat advantages dried up during the back end of the meeting and they had to be content with just a point.
Amid good displays from the heat leader trio of Peter Kildemand, Troy Batchelor and Nick Morris, as well as Dakota North, Simon Gustafsson remains the main cause for concern as he only managed three points against the club with which his father Henka holds legendary status. Rossiter is now seriously considering his position in the team.
As world title hopeful Niels-Kristian Iversen scored a faultless maximum and reserve Lewis Kerr fired in 13 points to lead the Lynn charge, the fact Kildemand was forced to snatch a point with a good move to re-pass guest Scott Nicholls in heat 15 only served to slightly mask Rossiter’s disappointment “It’s points dropped again, it’s not good enough,” the Robins boss said after the meeting.
“We should have at least taken three points, minimum, it was there for the taking for us, so we’re bitterly disappointed.
“Kildemand lost it in heat 13 where the front wheel went over the concrete and it washed away, that can happen, but it was a hard race and he and Scotty were fighting going into the corner.
“I can’t blame him but he did give me a heart attack going into the final race but he managed to pull it back so we have to try and be happy with a point now.”
After a slightly delayed start due to the sun beaming directly into the riders’ eyes at the tapes, it was Iversen who shone brightest as he made a great gate to win heat one as Kildemand followed him round. North did well to hold onto his bike as it almost threw him off in turn two but he did enough to hold on and beat Nicklas Porsing.
The first controversial moment of the night as Worrall made contact with Lewis Rose and sent him to the floor but, to do his credit, the young Lynn rider picked himself up and moved off the track when the red lights didn’t come on as his partner Kerr led the Robins duo round.
Two great gates saw Batchelor and Morris fly to victory over Rory Schlein and Nicholls, breaking the deadlock, before heat four was shared as Kerr motored to his second win ahead of chasing North and Steve Worrall.
Gustafsson’s troubles continued as he trailed in last in his opening ride behind Iversen . Nicholls and teammate Morris as Lynn levelled matters, but momentum quickly swung the way of the Robins again.
It looked as though Schlein had made the perfect gate from the outside in heat six but he was quickly pushed wide by Batchelor as the Aussie charged through and left room for Kildemand to join him for a classy maximum. Things almost got worse for Schlein but he just managed to avoid Robert Lambert as the teenager almost clattered into the side of him.
Rose’s tough night continued as he hit the deck under pressure from Gustafsson in turn one and was excluded from the re-run of heat seven, with the Robins’ Swede unable to catch winner Porsing when the race was re-run.
North and Morris beat Schlein out the gate in heat eight and were never troubled by the compatriot as he fruitlessly tried to stop a Robins maximum, before Nathan Greaves hit the dirt after wrestling his bike through turns one and two of a reserves heat eventually won by Kerr. To his credit the Robins youngster was up and able to remove his bike from the circuit in time for the race to continue.
Lynn pulled two more points back before the interval to leave the contest finely balanced as Iversen eased to victory in a race where Batchelor found himself boxed in out the back as he failed to pass spoiler Porsing.
Kildemand emerged from the break at his sparkling best as he first disposed of Schlein before lining up Nicholls and barging his way past the multiple national champion, however, Gustafsson was unable to join him and the points were shared.
North completely missed the start of heat 12, but did well to limit the damage by working his way through to second, setting up a massive heat 13 with the Robins leading by just two.
All four riders made the first corner together in the battle of the big guns but, in his haste to earn what could have propelled Swindon to a vital victory, Kildemand attempted to charge under Nicholls but hit the dirt and was rightly excluded. Faced with a daunting task, lone Robin Batchelor couldn’t find a route past Nicholls as the hosts took the lead with two to go.
The Robins pair both missed the gate in a vital penultimate heat but, with Worrall chasing hard, the young reserve suffered a mechanical problem and almost collected Gustafsson as the chance of victory vanished with another Starts 5-1.
Needing at least a 3-3 to take a single point back to Wiltshire, it looked as though it was all going to slip away as Kildemand fell behind Nicholls after initially passing the Brit, but the Dane fought back and make a move stick at the start of the final lap to claim a point.