THE Bespoke Guardians Swindon Wildcats head coach Aaron Nell blasted his side following a 6-5 defeat to the Raiders in the club’s only National Ice Hockey League fixture at the weekend.

Hoping to bounce back from a defeat to Bristol Pitbulls the Sunday before, Swindon made a poor start against the Raiders at the Link Centre and were two goals behind inside the opening 15 minutes.

Blahoslav Novak struck inside the first 60 seconds before Aaron Connolly doubled the visitors’ advantage at 14:39.

Tomasz Malasinski reduced the deficit in the dying embers of the first period, and Nell levelled early in the middle section.

But just 28 seconds after that, Novak nudged the Raiders back in front. Another couple of goals in quick succession pushed the visitors into a 5-2 lead as Jake Sylvester and Brandon Ayliffe netted.

Edgars Bebris gave Swindon hope of victory at 43:52, but the hosts could not find another goal before Novak wrapped up his hat-trick via an empty-net goal inside the final three minutes.

Two late goals from Nell and Malasinski added some respectability to the scoreline, but post-match, head coach Nell was extremely unhappy with the unacceptable mentality some of his players displayed.

Nell said: “We just weren’t ready to play. It sums up our season – half the team not ready to play. I don’t know what they expected the Raiders to do, let us win or something.

“First shift was ok, but the second shift summed us up the whole night. We talked about that line that they’re playing against, being focused defensively and switching on mentally from offence to defence.

“They made a nice play and scored, but that goal summed us up. We had lots of shots ourselves, but a lot were from the outside, and we made it easy for them.

“It’s frustrating, the season has been frustrating. It’s not good enough. We can’t have half the team ready to play and half not. It’s very, very frustrating.”