AARON Nell praised his players’ ability to weather Telford Tigers’ early storm at the Link Centre on Saturday night as Swindon Wildcats registered their first home victory of the pre-season campaign with a convincing 6-2 success.

Player-coach Nell put Cats ahead in a difficult first period, before Polish import Tomasz Malasinski netted a middle-period brace to take the game away from the visitors, who were playing the first game of their own warm-up schedule.

Nell also confirmed his brace in the second, before a pair of goals courtesy of Henry Adams and Adam Taylor halved the visitors’ deficit.

Any possible concern among home supporters was quashed in the game’s concluding five minutes, though, as Toms Rutkis and Edgars Bebris netted deserved goals to confirm the 6-2 scoreline.

Nell was satisfied to pick up a first home win of the season – particularly with just a week remaining until London Raiders visit the Link for the opening game of the new National League season.

“Telford were strong on Saturday in the first period and we rode our luck a bit. We were lucky to be ahead by a goal,” said Nell.

“We upped our game in the second period, and the third was a case of Telford upping their game again.

“Telford came out fast, and they were missing their best defenceman so they will only get better.

“I was happy with how we survived Telford’s advances in the first period and our reaction in the second.”

Unlike Swindon, Telford have opted to complete one weekend of pre-season games before starting their National League campaign.

For Nell, playing four games was always part of his plan, and he was pleased to see the Cats’ energy levels remain at an appropriate level.

Nell added: “It’s important to get two weeks in, everything moving forward now is about next week.

“Sometimes the second week of pre-season can be difficult – that’s simply because you’re so pumped up for the first.

“We saw a bit of a dip in practice this week, but I’m happy with how we performed as a team.”

The two teams met again on Sunday night for the reverse fixture in Telford, with Swindon rounding off their pre-season warm-up matches with a 4-2 defeat.

The two teams played out a goalless first period before Telford took control in the second.

Swindon actually broke the deadlock courtesy of Loris Taylor's strike, but the Tigers replied through Andy McKinney before efforts from Corey Goodison and Dan Mitchell put them 3-1 ahead.

Bebris reduced the deficit in the final period but Telford wrapped up the win when Mitchell netted his second goal of the night.