PLAYER-COACH Aaron Nell felt his side were unlucky not to take a point from their National League clash with Hull Pirates on Sunday after fighting back from four goals down before losing 6-5 late on.

After the home side blasted their way into a 4-0 lead within the first 14 minutes, Wildcats responded through Sam Godfrey, only for Pirates to reclaim their four-goal lead before the end of the first period.

Tyler VanKleef netted the only goal of the middle period as the Cats began their near-miracle comeback in the third.

Chris Jones made it 5-4 with two third-period goal before Tomasz Malasinski bagged the equaliser with less than four minutes remaining.

Yet, after the same man was penalised for a tripping infraction, Hull went on the powerplay and stole the two points with 75 seconds remaining.

Despite the late defeat, Nell credited his players for fighting back to prevent what could have been an embarrassing scoreline following the first-period blitz from their hosts.

He said: “I’m gutted for the boys because we did really well to come back.

“But when they got that powerplay with three minutes to go, you knew they were going to get some chances.

“They made a great play and scored a really good goal.

“It’s frustrating, but we put ourselves into a bit of a hole earlier on.

“I’m still proud of how the team were able to bounce back in the second and third period.

“We had no choice but to come out and be better after the first period.

“But in the end, I felt we were unlucky – we deserved a point.”

Following a straightforward 9-2 victory over London Raiders on Saturday night at the Link Centre, Swindon still find themselves comfortably in second in the National League table – some seven points behind Telford Tigers having played a game more.

Aside from the league leaders, Nell admitted Hull’s first period performance was probably the best he had faced all season as the Humberside-outfit stuck five goals past netminder Renny Marr.

Nell said: “In the first period, that was the best team we’ve seen all year – Hull were exceptional.

“There were a couple of goals that we want back, but they were just really, really good.

“You could see that they had something to play for tonight, and I really hope they play like that against Telford in their upcoming games against them.

“I know they were short of a few guys, but when their best player is on the ice all the time, it was difficult for us.

“But I’m really happy for the team that we showed something in that game – part of me was really worried that it could have got ugly for us with them playing like they were.”

On Saturday night, the Wildcats picked up two points after downing one of the division strugglers Raiders by seven goals.

Edgars Bebris scored a hat-trick while Malasinski bagged himself a brace.

Chris Jones, Luc Johnson, Toms Rutkis and player-coach Nell had also netted before back-up goalie Michael Crisp was able to get some icetime with the score at 7-0.