Shropshire Star

Tom Watkins insists Telford Tigers must be more ruthless

Telford Tigers head coach Tom Watkins has urged his side to discover their killer instinct after suffering back-to-back defeats over the weekend.


Tigers followed up Saturday’s defeat at the Raiders by going down 3-2 at home to Bristol Pitbulls on Sunday – making it four defeats in a row. But Watkins feels his team should have been out of sight long before Bristol began their comeback.

He said: “We had plenty of end zone time, plenty of possession, plenty of scoring opportunities, but when you don’t capitalise on those opportunities and take a team out of the game you are always going to run the risk of losing.

“At the end of the first period it should have been 5-0 to us and game over after we missed three great opportunities. But we weren’t clinical enough in the those key moments.

“We’ve lacked scoring depth and punch all season – if a couple of the key players in the team aren’t putting the puck in the net other players have to make it happen and that’s something that has hurt us all year.

“We then give up three unanswered goals at home and couldn’t find a way to tie it up.

“We lack a killer instinct and winning mentality – we have to take ownership of our individual performances and then take collective responsibility for dropping key points at home.”

Tigers still had a long list of absentees and were playing short-benched again, with Connor Lee, Aidan Wilson, Jake Price, Joe Aston and Matty Bloor unavailable.

But they made a bright start to the game and led by two goals at the end of the first period.

In the fourth minute, Jaden Peca opened the scoring with a wraparound goal that hit Bristol netminder Ben Norton on his pads and trickled past him into the goal.

Then Peca had a hand in the second goal, sending a perfect pass across the slot to Jesse Sutton, who hammered a shot past Norton.

Sutton and Vladimir Luka both hit the post as Telford went close to a third goal, but at the start of the second period Bristol upped the tempo and brought the scores level through Bailey Harewood and Daniel Hardie.

The Pitbulls then took advantage of another breakaway when Brennan Feasey scored to put the visitors ahead for the first time in the game, in the opening stages of the third period.

Telford were up against it and threw everything at Norton in the Bristol goal for the rest of the game, but hit the frame of the goal another six times.