SWINDON Robins must make home advantage count in this evening’s SGB Premiership play-off semi-final first leg against Wolverhampton Wolves, according to Adam Ellis.

Alun Rossiter’s Robins might be the only team in the Premiership to be unbeaten on home shale this season, but they have escaped defeat at the Abbey by the skin of their teeth on five occasions since the league’s first wheel was turned in April.

Wolverhampton were the last team to have pushed Swindon all the way – Jason Doyle and Tobiasz Musielak’s last heat heroics rescued a nerve-jangling 46-44 win on that night in early August.

Comfortable wins against Poole Pirates, Ipswich Witches, Peterborough Panthers and Belle Vue Aces have occurred since.

But 23-year-old Ellis knows the tight and technical demands of Wolves’ Monmore Green track – host to the semi-final’s second leg next Monday – makes establishing a lead this evening vitally important.

He said: “The play-offs are crucial – every point counts.

“We saw that in the first semi-final between Ipswich and Poole. Wolverhampton are probably the toughest team on paper.

“It will be hard, but having the first leg at home isn’t such a bad thing – we can build a lead.

“Monmore isn’t one of my favourite tracks, but as long as I can contribute with a few points then that’s the main thing.

“We’ve come on a lot at home since the start of the season. We all ride the track well, and there have been some solid performances in the last several home meetings.

“We’re more than capable of getting through to the final.”

Ipswich await the winner of the second semi-final after they defeated Poole 94-86 on aggregate despite trailing by 10 points after the first leg.

The Witches suffered an embarrassing 66-24 loss when they last visited the Abbey – a night where Ellis twice partnered up with Robins skipper Jason Doyle to record 5-1 maximums.

But for the Ringwood-based slider, the entire team’s contribution is what has ultimately inspired the Robins’ charge into the end-of-season play-offs.

He added: “It’s great riding with Jason, but to have guys like Troy (Batchelor) and Rasmus (Jensen) in the team helps too.

“We’ve got a great team spirit. Personally, I can learn from everyone.

“I can talk to Jason and Troy about set-ups when things aren’t going to plan.

“When I ride with Jason, I feel like I can follow his line if I’m behind and it helps me to take note of where I’m going wrong.”