SWINDON Wildcats player-coach Aaron Nell expects a much closer contest to unfold than the last time his side played host to Peterborough Phantoms when the two sides resume battle on Saturday night.

Nell’s troops thrashed the Phantoms 5-0 when they last visited the Link Centre back in September, with that victory marking the second of seven out of seven on home ice for Swindon in the National League this season.

The Cats head into this weekend’s showdown on a run of eight wins in a row at any rink, so few would bet against them extending that run.

Although Swindon have enjoyed a flying start to the campaign and currently lead the early table, Peterborough have been going well too and currently sit third.

Nell actually felt the teams were much more closely matched than the previous 5-0 scoreline suggests, so has warned that another home success is far from a foregone conclusion.

“Peterborough are very consistent,” said Nell.

“They are well coached and they play a really good system. We need to be ready for them on Saturday.

“We are going to have to play better than we did last Saturday (a 5-2 win at home to Raiders) in order to beat them.

“We are going to have to play a very good game. If we can, hopefully we can get another win.

“I think Peterborough will definitely be better than the last time we played them.

“Even in that game, it was 1-0 until about two minutes to go in the second period. We got a big goal to go 2-0 up, and then we pulled away in the third period.

“It certainly wasn’t a 5-0 game when we played them last time, and I expect it to be a lot closer this time and a really good game.”

The Cats follow up their Peterborough battle with an away game against Leeds Chiefs on Sunday.

That match takes place in Widnes as the Yorkshire side await the completion of their new ice rink following the formation of the club ahead of the current season.

Although Leeds boast a record of just three wins from 12 games this term, all of those victories have come in the past month, so Nell says there is no chance of the Chiefs being taken lightly.

“Leeds have been playing really well recently,” said Nell.

“I think they lost twice last weekend but before that they were playing really well and had started to pick up wins. It is going to be a difficult game.

“The last time we played them, I think we got a lucky bounce to win it in the last five minutes or so.

“Their top line is very good. We have got to be ready for them but hopefully we can put in another good performance.

“We need to concentrate on Peterborough on Saturday and hopefully win that, and that will give us momentum going to Leeds on Sunday.”