Swindon Wildcats 4 Leeds Knights 1 - Big night for Aaron Nell scuppers Knights’ hopes of closing gap

PLAYER-COACH Aaron Nell enjoyed a field day after he scored all four of his team’s goals as Swindon Wildcats put further distance between themselves and Leeds Knights with their first win in six games.

By Phil Harrison
Sunday, 9th January 2022, 11:54 pm
FOUR-GOAL CONCLUSION: Player-coach Aaron Nell led his Swindon Wildcats team to victory over Leeds Knights on Saturday. Picture: Kat Medcroft/Wildcats Media.
FOUR-GOAL CONCLUSION: Player-coach Aaron Nell led his Swindon Wildcats team to victory over Leeds Knights on Saturday. Picture: Kat Medcroft/Wildcats Media.

It was also a way of levelling the score for the hosts after Leeds had enjoyed a 5-2 win at Elland Road last Monday, when Swindon were still very much depleted as the effects of a Covid outbreak continued to leave them short-benched.

But the Wiltshire club - who lost 5-0 at Peterborough Phantoms last night - were able to welcome back several first-choice personnel on Saturday at the Link Centre for an entertaining encounter between two teams very much looking to attack at every available opportunity.

In fact, Leeds can count themselves slightly unlucky to come away with nothing to show for their efforts, firmly in the game until just over 10 minutes remained when Nell sealed his hat-trick, finishing off the contest with an empty-net strike with just seven seconds remaining.

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Leeds Knights' Ben Solder gave the visitors hope in the 13th minute in their 4-1 defeat at Swindon Wildcats. Picture: Andy Bourke/Podium Prints

Leeds showed great character earlier in the night when they found themselves 2-0 down with less than eight minutes on the board.

Having endured a five-hour coach journey, Leeds were caught out early on when Nell broke the deadlock with just 3.08 on the clock.

He then doubled his tally with just over four more minutes gone leaving the visitors - buoyed by the inclusion of two-way forward Harry Gulliver - facing an uphill battle.

But they were quickly and deservedly back in the game when defenceman Ben Solder scored his third goal for the club at 12.31.

Thereafter, the game could really have gone either way, both goalies being kept on their toes throughout, both showing their quality once more.

As Leeds chased an equaliser, they coughed up the puck behind the net, Tomasz Malasinski doing the hard work on the forecheck before feeding Nell, who was left all alone at Sam Gospel’s left-hand post to fire the puck home.

The two teams have two remaining fixtures left in their head-to-head series, facing off back-to-back on the weekend of February 26-27.