SWINDON Wildcats narrowly missed out on a four-point weekend in the National League for the third week in succession after a narrow 5-4 loss away at London Raiders on Sunday night.

Following their dominant 5-0 home win against Bracknell Bees on Saturday, Aaron Nell’s men travelled to the capital in search of a win that would have taken Swindon top of the fledgling table.

However, a match-winning performance from Raiders netminder Michael Gray – who finished the weekend having conceded just five goals from 90 shots faced against the Cats and Hull Pirates – denied Nell and his side another two points to add to their early tally.

In a nip-and-tuck first 40 minutes, the visitors fought back twice to level the score either side of the first hooter through Chris Jones, Tomasz Malasinski and Nell, before the Londoners strengthened their lead to two goals once again in the second period.

Edgars Bebris pulled one back just before the second buzzer sounded, but with a lack of scoring making way for a significant number of penalties on both sides in the final session, the Cats were left to rue their inefficiencies at both ends of the ice.

Nell said: “It was a tough game, but I couldn’t fault any of the players. We all played really well.

“We should have been a goal or two up early on, but their goalie played really well.

“They won 2-1 the night before away against Hull, so they were confident going into the game and it showed, but I couldn’t fault any of our guys.

“I would say that we had the better chances, or more chances at least, but they scored some really nice goals and their keeper made some big saves at key times.

“It’s frustrating, but I thought their execution at both ends of the ice was better than ours.”

Swindon have scored 31 goals so far this season in the National League, averaging just a shade over six goals a game from their opening half-a-dozen fixtures.

The four Sunday scorers also netted in the convincing home win on Saturday too, and Nell believes if his side is to be successful this campaign, they are likely to require more telling contributions from their important forwards.

Nell said: “It was good to score again, and it was good to see the other three guys find the back of the net too.

“We’re going to need to lean on the four scorers from Sunday night a lot this season, so that means more big performances from myself, Chris Jones, Edgars Bebris and Tomasz Malasinski.

“Tomasz and Edgars have both got off to great starts this season scoring-wise, and long may that continue.”