SWINDON Wildcats player-coach Aaron Nell lamented a lack of luck as his side fell 3-2 to Basingstoke Bison in a penalty shoot-out on Boxing Day.

The defeat means the Cats have now lost four in a row as a brutal stretch of away games finally concluded on Thursday evening.

Icing just 13 players on Boxing Day, Nell’s men battled hard to secure a first away win since November 24 but conceded their first goal 16 minutes into the first period.

Basingstoke made it two five minutes into the second before the visitors got their name on the scoresheet through defenceman Tyler Plews.

And with a little over a minute to play in the third period, Nell grabbed a vital goal to secure the Cats at least a point from their trip to Hampshire.

With neither team able to take their chances in overtime, it was the Bison who ultimately came out on top in what Nell called a ‘coin toss’ of a shoot-out.

He said: “It’s very frustrating (to lose on penalties), of course, and I thought the players worked hard today.

“We’re starting to turn a corner, and it’s always tough to come to Basingstoke, especially when you’ve only got nine forwards and four defencemen.

“A penalty shoot-out is always just a coin flip – you can never rely on a shoot out to win, but it’s a big point and we need to make sure we back it up by getting two points on Saturday night at home.

“Getting a point here is key – we could have got two, of course, but we’ve shown something over the last two nights.”

While the Cats’ player-coach felt his side were certainly close to getting back to winning ways on Thursday night, Nell felt a fortunate goal for the home side signalled it was unlikely to be in that game.

The Swindon chief admitted his side will have to play like a 'desperate team' when they host Bracknell Bees on Saturday night if they are to gain revenge for the defeat they suffered last week.

He said: “In the first period, we played decent, but we didn’t get many shots in.

“Then they go and score one of the luckiest goals I’ve ever seen in my life.

“But when you’re not winning that’s what happens.

“We did well to bring it back, but we’ve played four games in 11 days with only four defencemen – and four away games too.

“We’ve missed playing at home, so it’s going to be very nice.

“But we’ve got to be a desperate team and get two points against a team that beat us last week.”