Shropshire Star

Tom Watkins lays into Telford Tigers after loss

Telford Tigers head coach Tom Watkins was left hugely frustrated by his side’s lacklustre performance against Swindon Wildcats.


Tigers came into the game off the back of three consecutive wins, but were rocked by the news that Danny Rose, Ricky Plant and Jonathan Weaver will all be out of the side for a prolonged period of time due to injury.

And much to the annoyance of Watkins the hosts never really got a foothold in the game, and were comfortably beaten by the better team on the day.

“We made a very poor start to the game and had a very poor first period which put us behind the eight ball,” Watkins said. “We didn’t get going at all, didn’t have enough energy, commitment or grit on or off the puck and lacked the fundamentals to allow us to play quick which would help us to create better transition and lead to more offence.”

He added: “To be out shot 35 to 23 at home tells its own story.

“You have to outplay the players opposite you or at the very least outwork or out-skate them to give your team a chance but with only 20 per cent of the team playing at the level required, it’s going to be hard to win, particularly when you are up against a team with so much depth.”

The hosts made a very slow start to the game and fell behind in the opening minute of a disappointing first period for the home side. Tomaz Malasinski’s shot crashed against the post, but the rebound was turned in by Aaron Nell who reacted quickest to open the scoring.

Shots from distance were Telford’s only hope in the early stages, and they were unable to create anything to trouble Renny Marr in the Swindon goal.

Telford fell further behind when Sam Bullas fired home from close range, and minutes later Swindon netted a third goal with a powerful effort from Gael Lubwele beating Brad Day with some help from the post.

Some stern words were needed during the break, and Tigers started the second period in better form.

They pulled a goal back five minutes after the restart when a pass from defence by Harry Ferguson allowed Jaden Peca to burst in on goal and beat Marr with a neat finish to finally put the hosts on the scoreboard.

But the positivity for Telford was short lived, as more poor defending at the other end let the visitors back in to restore their three-goal lead.

Malasinski sent a pass in front of goal to Nell who took advantage of Brad Day losing his position to tap into the open net for his second goal of the game.

A goalless third period saw Swindon control the game well and ensure a comfortable, and thoroughly deserved victory.