CHRIS Jones was the hero as his late goal gave Swindon Wildcats a dramatic 3-2 victory over NIHL South One title rivals Peterborough Phantoms at the Link Centre on Saturday night.

The Cats made it a four-point weekend – following their 4-3 win over Basingstoke Bison on Friday night – thanks to Jones’ goal with 28 seconds left on the clock.

Sam Jones opened the scoring for the hosts midway through the first period, however, Glenn Billing squared up proceedings prior to the interval.

A scoreless – but not uneventful – second period was played out before the action really hotted up in the third.

Swindon player-coach Aaron Nell missed a golden chance to give his side the lead with 10 minutes remaining as he scuffed his shot wide before making amends minutes later, squeezing in a shot to give the Cats a deserved lead.

James Ferrara’s equaliser with four minutes remaining looked to be sending the game to overtime yet, with less than 30 seconds remaining and the Cats on a powerplay, the home side bagged a priceless win.

Chris Jones made it two game-winning goals in two nights as he hit the back of the net, sending the home fans into rapture.

After the game, Nell was visibly delighted with the win and felt the victory was fully deserved, even if lady luck had played her part too.

He said: “I’m very happy and relieved. We needed that. I believe that you make your own luck and the way the players have worked over the past two nights, we got a bit of luck but it’s what we deserve.

“They obviously had that mishap with too many men and we had some good chances on that powerplay.

“I thought (Jonas) Hoog was excellent on the powerplay, we banged away and (Chris) Jones has got a big goal for us.

“That’s two nights in a row now that he’s got the game winner and if he can keep on playing like he has this weekend then we’re going to have a good end to the year.”

Before the weekend’s back-to-back victories, Swindon had only won two of eight and Nell is desperate for his side to keep working hard as they look to rediscover their Midas touch from the start of the season.

He said: “It was (the perfect way to come back after Christmas).

“It’s been a tough month – very tough – and we haven’t had anything like the last month since I’ve been coaching, and it’s been difficult, but when you work – they’re good people in there, they really want to do well – and you get that bit of luck, you win hockey matches and we’ll take any luck we can get.

“It’s very important for us to keep a good feeling going and (Tuesday’s game against Bracknell) is another chance for us to get another win in front of our home fans.

“We owe them some big performances and we need to turn this place into a very tough place to come again, like it was last season and at the start of the year.”