AARON Nell was delighted with his Wildcats players after they secured their place in the Autumn Cup final with a penalty-shots win at Peterborough Phantoms tonight.

With the game tied at 6-6 on aggregate after overtime, penalty shots were the only way to separate the two teams.

Nell, who notched twice during the game, scored the all-important effort, before Swindon netminder Renny Marr sealed the win by saving two Phantoms shots.

“We are delighted, I think they were the two best hockey games that we have played all year, from two good hockey games,” said Nell.

“In the end we executed in the penalty shootout and we are really happy with that.

“The first 25 minutes went exactly to plan, but after that we conceded a quick goal and then they really came for us, as they always do at home.

“They’re a great team but we got a good goal at the end of the game, then Renny was huge in goal.

“I really had to pick the boys up in the third period after we lost Jan Kostal, we were 3-2 down, but we stuck to it.”

With the game perfectly poised after last week’s 3-3 first-leg draw at the Link Centre last Thursday, it was the Wildcats who broke the deadlock to lead the tie for the first time.

Nell got the opening goal when he applied the finish to Max Birbraer’s pass in the 11th minute.

From there, it was a case of holding onto an advantage and they were able to do so as they went into the break at 4-3 up overall.

The second period saw them extend their lead through Nell’s second, when he crashed the nets well to stab home with 25 minutes on the clock.

With the score 2-0, the Cats were immediately brought back to earth through Edward Knaggs’ immediate response.

It then went from bad to worse for the visitors as Phantoms levelled proceedings through Glenn Billing with two minutes of the second instalment left.

The third period was just two minutes old when the Cats were handed a crushing blow, as James Farrara put the home side ahead for the first time, handing them a 6-5 aggregate lead.

Kostal was then forced to call it a night early on, as he took a whack to the face which left him with a nasty cut on his left cheek.

Just as the game looked to be slipping away from the Cats, Chris Jones popped up with an equaliser to level the game once again with less than three minutes to play.

Overtime came and went without either side getting the all-important goal, leaving penalty shots as the only thing left to separate the two teams.

Marr was the hero for the Cats as he saved two penalty shots before Nell’s troops booked their spot in the final, where they will face Basingstoke Bison or Hull Pirates.