NOT EVEN a remarkable paid 19 effort from Peterborough Panthers’ guest reserve Ryan Douglas could deny Swindon Robins their second Premiership win on the road this season on Monday night.

But Alun Rossiter’s side were made to work until the very final lap to wrap up three vital points in their latest Premiership fixture, as the Robins downed out-of-form Peterborough 46-44 at the East of England Arena.

A 4-2 in the 15th and deciding race of the night earned the Robins their narrow win - and it moved the Abbey Stadium outfit onto 46 points from 23 meetings.

Panthers boss Carl Johnson can consider himself extremely fortunate to have taken the meeting down to its final race.

Excluding guest reserve Douglas – who replaced the suspended Jason Garrity – Panthers won only one of the 15 heats with Ulrich Ostergaard’s 5+2 return the pick of the home side’s bunch.

Rossiter insists his septet should’ve won the meeting by more points, and stated that he would’ve felt hard done by had he left the Showground without a victory to his name.

He added: “I’m slightly frustrated, we should’ve done better. But it was difficult.

“Peterborough is a clay-based track, and a few of the boys struggled to find the right setup.

“We came up against – again – a reserve that scored 18 points. None of Peterborough’s reserves would score 18 points.

“That’s not me being sour, it’s just a fact. How often do you see a reserve score 18 points? That almost cost us tonight.

“Finishing top is still a possibility, and the weather could yet play a factor.

“It’s only Poole that can beat us. But I’m most relieved to finish the night without picking up any injuries.

“Full credit to Peterborough, the track was fine and the meeting went ahead. But when we first walked the track it did look a bit scary.”

Both team managers no doubt breathed a sigh of relief after the conclusion of the meeting’s first four heats, following a pair of high-speed crashes that – remarkably – resulted in no injuries.

First, British champion Charles Wright crashed spectacularly in heat one while leading comfortably.

Wright’s spill gifted Robins pair Ellis and Doyle a fortuitous opening race 5-1, which was cancelled out in the reserves’ race as Panthers’ Douglas and Ostergaard took the flag.

Following Robins’ second maximum of the night in heat three, Batchelor, Tungate and Vissing were involved in a frightening three-man spill in heat four.

The trio all hit the air fence on turn three, with Vissing judged to be the cause of the stoppage – he was consequently excluded.

Douglas again comfortably won, cutting the hosts’ deficit to two points.

In-form Ellis partnered up with Doyle for Swindon’s third maximum of the night in heat five before the visitors’ lead was stretched to eight points following Batchelor’s win over Wright a race later.

At this stage, the track had settled – and racing at the Showground was at its brilliant best.

Two terrific tussles in heats seven and eight resulted in a pair of 4-2s for Carl Johnson’s side – though it could have been much more had it not been for Ellis’ last bend heroics in latter of the two races.

Panthers’ four-point deficit remained after the conclusion of the next two heats before man-of-the-moment Ellis again took the flag in heat 11 with Doyle third. Hans Andersen’s lack of team riding in heat 12 no doubt cost the hosts points in heat 12. Rasmus Jensen took full advantage of the Panthers’ poor track positioning to rescue another shared race.

By time the flag fell on heat 13, Swindon had secured at least a draw.

But Panthers’ 5-1 in heat 14 ensured the meeting would go down to a last race decider.

And Rossiter had Jensen to thank as he second place finish earned the Robins three points and a fine-margin 46-44 win.

Peterborough Panthers = 44

1. Charles Wright - F/X, 2, 1', 2, 1 = 6+1

2. Ty Proctor - 1, 0, 1, (RD - 2) = 2

3. Hans Andersen - 0, 1, 2, 2 = 5

4. Scott Nicholls - 1, 0, 1', (RD - 3) = 2+1

5. Rohan Tungate - 1, 3, 2, 0 = 6

6. Ulrich Ostergaard - 2', 1, 0, 2' = 5+2

7. Ryan Douglas (Guest) - 3, 3, 3, 2, 1', 3, 3 = 18+1

Swindon Robins = 46

1. Jason Doyle - 2', 3, 1, 3 = 9+1

2. Adam Ellis - 3, 2', 2, 3, 0 = 10+1

3. Rasmus Jensen - 3, 2, 3, 3, 2 = 13

4. Tobiasz Musielak - 2', 0, F/X, 1 = 3+1

5. Troy Batchelor - 2, 3, 3, 1 = 9

6. Ellis Perks - 0, 1, 0, 0 = 1

7. Claus Vissing - 1, F/X, 0, 0 = 1