SWINDON Wildcats came out on top to claim a 5-2 win in a competitive game against Bracknell Bees.

The opening exchanges were frantic as both sides looked to take the early initiative at the Link Centre.

The Wildcats had a first glimpse of goal with just over two minutes on the clock when chief Aaron Nell played a smart pass off of the boards to find Jones, who hit his shot on the move before being parried clear by the Bees netminder, Alexander Mettam.

After his earlier effort, Jones broke the deadlock following some good work from import Max Birbraer.

The 36-year-old was found well by youngster, Joe Hazeldine, and then caught Mattam in no-man’s land chasing a loose puck.

The Swindon man showed great desire to pip the visitor before playing it back to Jones, who had no issue slotting home in the ninth minute of the game.  

Bracknell continued to battle in what was a dogged cup encounter at the Link Centre, Frantisek Bakrlik, who has 11 goals this season, proved to be a constant threat for the Wildcats back line.

The visitor remined the hosts of the threat he posed when his shot was powerful enough to knock Neil Liddiard’s stick out of his hand.

Birbraer and Sam Zajac had both been in the box for charging and hard sticking respectively and the visitors made the most of their numerical advantage when Bakrlik levelled proceedings in the 15th minute.

The second instalment was a tense affair and the only chance on goal fell to Jones when he hit the pipes early on.

Captain Jan Kostal continued to lead by example as he put his body on the line twice to produce two fantastic blocks at either end of the period.

The final minute saw Nell break through and look for goal, his shot was deflected into Birbraer’s face, causing him to leave the ice early to receive treatment.

Wildcats were boosted when Birbraer emerged for the final period, but was back in the bin within the opening minute after being given two plus two for fighting with Joshua Martin.

Overtime looked to be a fair outcome at the Link Centre, but the Cats snuck into the lead with 15 minutes to go as Hazeldine notched late on.

Birbraer, who had just returned from his penalty, saw his shot beaten away and fall to the feet of the teenager who only had to hit the target from distance to score.  

The third was just about enough to seal the win when Kostal, who had been superb, was able to bundle home following a mazy run from Zajac.

Shaun Thompson cause some concern when he poked home a second for Bracknell, but that was soon dispelled when Birbraer added a fourth. 

Phil Hill was the man to seal the win he scored in the final minute after the visitors pulled their netminder.