Shropshire Star

Telford Tigers’ losing streak tough to take says coach

Telford Tigers head coach Tom Watkins admitted his side have found their recent difficult run ‘very hard’ to take.


Defeats to Leeds Knights and Swindon Wildcats had left the Shropshire side seeking their first win of the weekend against Swindon Wildcats.

But the problems for Watkins’ side continued as they fell to a 3-1 defeat on home ice.

“It’s been a very hard few days,” the head coach admitted. “We didn’t get the results but I think our performances in all three games were at a good level which gave us a chance.”

Watkins added: “Obviously offensively the lack of goals have been a concern this weekend.

“Our power play – which has been a good tool for us – didn’t generate any scoring or chances which is frustrating and you could argue that was the difference all weekend.

“We have lots to build upon and take plenty of positives from the performances against two very good teams.”

Tigers continued to struggle with a long list of absentees and were left without Jake and Lucas Price along with Joe Aston and Connor Lee.

Aidan Wilson was available to play in his first home game since returning to the club earlier in the week.

Both sides had their net minders to thank for the scores remaining level after an eventful opening period.

Early on Brad Day made two superb saves from Colby Tower to stop Tigers opening the scoring. As the period progressed, Tigers were under heavy pressure in their own defensive zone and somehow the visitors did not take the lead despite creating several big chances to score.

And just as the visitors began to turn the screw, Telford broke away to score the first goal of the day.

Louie Newell sent James Smith and Jack Watkins on a breakaway for the hosts.

Smith waited patiently to play the perfect pass across goal to Watkins, who shot low past Renny Marr to open the scoring. The second period follows the pattern of the first, with Swindon missing a number of great chances in front of goal.

Eventually though Telford’s luck ran out, as Aaron Neil passed the ball into an empty net following a well-worked power play.

Shortly after, the visitors missed a huge opportunity to take the lead through Balint Pakozdi, who lost control of the puck directly in front of goal.

Swindon’s pressure eventually paid off though when Neil grabbed his second of the game with a powerful shot into the top corner that left Day with no chance.

With seven minutes left, Deakan Fielder was given a major penalty for boarding and was removed from the game as a result.

And this allowed the game to eventually be wrapped up in the final minute.

Tigers pulled Day from goal to add an extra attacker to the game, but this only resulted in allowing Glenn Billing to score into the empty net and seal the win for Swindon.