PLAYER-COACH Aaron Nell saluted the Swindon Wildcats’ supporters after the team booked their spot in the Autumn Trophy final on Thursday night.

The Cats return to league action in NIHL South One this weekend with away and home meetings against Basingstoke Bison and head into those fixtures in high spirits following their cup heroics.

A group of hardy Swindon fans made the 227-mile round-trip to see the Cats come through a nail-biting semi-final second leg against Peterborough Phantoms on Thursday, where only penalty shots could separate the two sides.

In a turbulent affair, which saw the Cats surrender a 2-0 lead before finally claiming the spoils, player-coach Nell heaped praise on the club’s supporters and hopes he and his team can provide more cup success in the coming months.

“The fans were fantastic. In the warm-up, I think we had more fans than them. Our fans have been great this year,” said Nell.

“It’s great for the whole club but especially them. They’re going to be rewarded with a cup final and, touch wood, there will be a few more to come.

“We are delighted. We had a happy trip home on Thursday but now we have to look forward to Basingstoke.”

Aside from claiming a gruelling victory over two legs, Nell believes his side demonstrated a winning mentality, something he thinks will bode well across all three competitions.

Following their semi success, Nell could see his side come up against either Bison or Hull Pirates in the final, but the 27-year-old isn’t too concerned about who comes next.

“Thursday was the first time the game was really do or die and there are going to be a lot of games like that coming up, but we are looking forward to it,” said the Cats boss, who also played down his recent goal scoring form.

“To go to Peterborough on a Thursday night and win, after all of the games we have played, is a great achievement.

“I’m playing pretty well at the moment but that is just my job. That is what I have to do to make the team successful but it is just my job.

“It doesn’t matter who we have in the final, they are two great teams. Obviously, Basingstoke is a bit closer than Hull, but we aren’t bothered one bit.”