Leeds Knights coach Dave Whistle on why his team got their just rewards against Swindon Wildcats

LEEDS KNIGHTS coach Dave Whistle says his players got their just rewards after thumping hosts Swindon Wildcats 7-3 in the NIHL Autumn Cup.

By Phil Harrison
Saturday, 25th September 2021, 7:05 am
HAPPY: Leeds Knights head coach Dave Whistle Picture: 
Andy Bourke
HAPPY: Leeds Knights head coach Dave Whistle Picture: Andy Bourke

Just under three weeks ago, the Knights came off second-best twice against Aaron Nell’s team when losing by the odd goal in home and away, back-to-back pre-season exhibition games.

But, for the second game running, the Knights found the back of the net seven times, another reminder to their NIHL National rivals of the potentially devastating firepower at their disposal.

Leading light for the visitors was Kieran Brown who, on a line with Adam Barnes and Lewis Houston, ran riot at times, plundering five of the seven goals that found the back of Renny Marr’s net between them.

Kieran Brown ensured Leeds Knights enjoyed their trip to Swindon Wildcats, scoring two goals and four assists as the visitors won 7-3 in the NIHL Autumn Cup. Picture: Andy Bourke

Brown himself, scored twice, adding four assists, with Barnes also finding the net on two occasions, Houston being first to get on the scoresheet when he opened the scoring with a fifth-minute power play strike.

At the other end, they may have been outshot but, again, Sam Gospel stood tall, beaten by just three of the 46 goals recorded as having rained down on his net.

But, overall, Whistle was happier with his players’ all-round performance - seeing much to admire at both ends of the ice.

“We came out, we got some nice breaks, scored some good goals and we’re playing a little bit better as a whole team right now,” said Whistle, whose team host Telford Tigers at Elland Road on Sunday (face-of 5.15pm).

“The guys have been working hard in practice, so it’s good for them to get a good win against what is a good team. It’s another confidence builder and it tells them that they can do it - and we can keep doing it if we play well.

”I felt from start to finish, everybody played well. We scored early and then it snowballed for us which was awesome and we kept working hard at both ends.”

Whistle said Brown produced the kind of form which will make him difficult to contain this season.

“He’s got such a good release, such a heavy shot, he can score goals from almost anywhere with that shot and we need him to keep shooting the puck all the time,” added Whistle.

“He’s going to be a player that will be hard for people to control because he’s a good skater, he’s strong on the puck and he’s got a great shot - he works hard and I was happy for him to get those points, he deserved every single one of them.”