SWINDON Wildcats survived a late scare in their NIHL Cup fixture with Basingstoke Bison as they clinched a 3-1 penalty shot win last night.

Import Max Birbraer got the Cats on track when he broke the deadlock in the 11th minute of the first period, following good work from both Aaron Nell and Ben Nethersell.

Two minutes later, Bison levelled through Josh Smith before Floyd Taylor claimed his second goal in as many games to re-establish the visitors' lead.

Player coach Nell highlighted the performance of Taylor, who has continued to impress the Wildcats chief with his recent displays.

“Floyd was the most improved player last season and he has kicked on again this year, he came a long way in the second half of last year,” said Nell, who was happy with his team’s performance.

“He (Taylor) has a lot more responsibility and he is in much better shape than he was three or four years ago.

“I think we played well, we were great in the first period and then they (Basingstoke) came back into it.

“It is a tough rink to come to and not many teams go there and get a win so we are very happy that we were able to win.

“We are delighted, we played as hard as we could and we are looking forward to tomorrow now.”

Swindon held on to their advantage all the way through to the final period of the game.

In the final instalment it was Bison who took a surprise lead. Dan Scott was the man to restore parity for the home side with less than five minutes to play and the hosts pounced for the second time two minutes later as they took a 3-2 advantage deep into the final period .

With 10 seconds left to play Nell registered his fourth goal in two games to force the game into overtime.

Despite the eventful third period, neither team were able to get the all-important goal to prevent penalty shots.

New-signing Edgars Bebris converted the Cats’ first penalty shot, before Nell and Yan Kostal notched to snatch victory.

The away win means Nell’s side have sealed their spot in the next round of the competition before hosting Peterborough Phantoms tomorrow night.