SWINDON Robins claimed their second away league point of the season as they produced a spirited second-half display to lose 48-42 at Wolverhampton.

Down by 10 points after heat eight, Alun Rossiter’s Robins avoided defeat in the next six heats to claw the deficit back to four points and give themselves an outside chance of an away win.

However, a drawn heat 14 and Wolves’ first heat advantage since the eighth race in heat 15 put paid to the visitors chances of snatching anything more than a point.

Captain Jason Doyle was the standout man for the Robins as he took 12+1 from his five rides while Rasmus Jensen, who had previously commented on his dislike for the Monmore Green track, collected eight on a mixed night.

Troy Batchelor plugged away to pick up nine points, Adam Ellis improved as the night wore on to claim six and Ellis Perks scooped a helpful four.

The search for a reserve to replace Zach Wajtknecht will likely go on though as guest Danny Ayres did not trouble the scorers while David Bellego (3) struggled.

Considering Rossiter’s message beforehand, the Robins made the ideal start at Monmore Green.

Doyle and Bellego hit the front ahead of the Wolves pair of Rory Schlein and Ryan Douglas before the Australian simply marshalled Bellego around the tight bends for a 5-1.

But despite the bright start for Rossiter’s men, Wolves wasted no time in fighting back.

Perks made an excellent start for the Robins, but continued to hug the inside on his way around and was eventually picked off by Luke Becker on the final lap.

Jensen was the next Robin to make the best start but be overtaken in the closing stages.

Jensen opted for the dirt closer to the outside, but Thorsell showed excellent track knowledge to slip down the inside and bag the heat win.

Heat four proved to be the worst of the opening half of the meeting for the Robins.

Danny Ayres hit the front first, but was quickly passed by Becker and then Masters before the end of lap two.

Batchelor could not find the right line to mount a challenge on the Wolves men and Peter Adams' side took a lead that they would not relinquish.

Jason Doyle, who was not having the best of nights out of the traps, completely missed the start in heat five but fought back well to split the Wolves riders and nick second. 

He opted for the wider line to make ground, but it was not forthcoming, and the Australian did well not to be blocked out by Nick Morris just behind.

A couple of shared heats followed before Rossiter’s men begun their fightback.

Batchelor and Ayres gated on a 5-1 in heat nine and looked set to cut the deficit, but Ayres did a 360-degree spin on the third-fourth bend and Batchelor was forced to lead the race on his own in a shared heat.

There was a relatively comfortable win for Adam Ellis in the next as the Robins picked up another 3-3 before Alun Rossiter played his tactical substitute card in heat 11.

Batchelor came in to replace the struggling David Bellego alongside Doyle and the pair made a perfect start.

The Swindon duo gated on a 5-1, but unfortunately for Rossiter’s pair, Masters did brilliantly to cut past Batchelor on the home straight ahead of lap three and snatch second.

Jensen stormed to victory in heat 12 before heat 13 provided the biggest drama of the night.

With Doyle gaining on Wolves captain, Schlein with every meter on lap two, the home side’s number one ended up nudging Doyle into the fence as the current Grand Prix rider attempted to move past.

But despite only having one Wolves rider to best in the re-run, a poor start cost Swindon a potential 5-1 opportunity.

Batchelor was caught on his heels, and although Doyle managed to hit the front, Swindon’s number five could not do the same for very long and Sam Masters managed to save a point and a potentially huge swing in momentum for his team.

Adam Ellis, who performed well around the tight bends of Monmore easily romped to victory in the penultimate race of the night before Wolves avoided being on the wrong end of a stunning comeback by recording their first heat advantage since heat eight in the final race of the night.