SWINDON Wildcats player-coach Aaron Nell heaped praise on his side after they collected an impressive 3-1 win at Basingstoke Bison in the NIHL Cup on Saturday.

A scintillating start to the game saw Swindon take an early 3-0 lead in the first period.

Chris Jones notched the first goal of the evening when he made the most of a Swindon power play to slot home in the 11th minute, following some good work from Nell and Sam Zajac.

Roman Malinik's two-minute penalty for high sticking would prove to be a costly one for Bison, as Jordan Kelsall piled on the misery by getting Swindon's second power play goal a minute later.

With less than 30 seconds of the period to play, import Max Birbraer snatched a third goal for Swindon, to give them a solid advantage going into the second period.

Player-coach Nell, who registered an assist in all three of his side’s goals, says he was delighted with the conviction shown by his side.

"You are always happy if you can get a win at Basingstoke because it is a really tough rink to play in," said Nell.

"We had a great first period, (netminder) Renny (Marr) led us through all three periods, but especially in the second and third he was really, really good.

"You know what, in the first five or 10 minutes I thought they (Bison) were the better team, but then we had 10 minutes where we were really good and we took our chances.

"That is what you need to do when you go to Basingstoke, you need to take your chances because you know you aren't going to get many.

"It's great that we were so clinical because we haven't been clinical enough this season and we got two good power play goals, then a nice goal from Max (Birbraer)."

Despite the dream start, it wasn't plain sailing for the visiting Wildcats, who also faced foul trouble of their own in the second and third periods.

With that in mind, Nell says he was pleased with how his players were able to manage the cup clash.

"I think in the second period we sat back a little bit too much, and then in the third we were short-handed a lot," he added.

"We kept them to nine shots in the final period when they had eight or nine minutes of power play so I'm really happy with how we played.

"Renny was strong and the guys who were in front of him were really strong too."

Nell also believes that the win would have gone some way to banishing the memory from the performance they put in last time out.

With Peterborough Phantoms claiming a narrow home win at the Link Centre a week earlier, Nell thinks this weekend's cup victory was just what they needed.

"It was very important we don't want to be a team who lose twice in the same week," he said.

"We didn't want to go a weekend without winning a game, so it was a big game for us and I'm really happy with it."