The Invicta Dynamos bravely battled back from 8-1 down to 8-5 on Sunday night before eventually losing out 9-5 to the EPL’s Swindon Wildcats as they made their last home outing in the English Challenge Cup.
The opening exchanges were nothing short of disastrous for the Mos as the Wildcats were allowed to surge into a 4-0 lead before the clock had even reached 7 minutes. The deadlock was broken as early as 02.27 – Aaron Nell robbing Nicky Lewis in the right circle and sweeping towards the far post for Floyd Taylor to roof home. The second came at 03.40 – Oliver Betteridge’s shot rebounding to Jan Kostal close left and the Swindon captain passing across the crease for Nell to finish at point blank range. The Wildcats refused to let up and then added another at 04.49 – Floyd Taylor going solo with a skate through all three zones before a shot from the inside edge of the right circle squeezed between the legs of Chris Douglas for 3-0. Already in danger of falling out of sight, the Dynamos then looked to be on the wrong end of a hammering when Swindon claimed a fourth at 06.50 – Betteridge passing to Kostal in the slot and the import shifting onto his backhand and sweeping in at the back post for a commanding lead. Thankfully for the home support relief was just moments away – the clock stopping at 08.14 after Juraj Huska’s counter ended with a shot into the pads of Stevie Lyle allowing Anthony Leone to poke in the rebound from close right for 4-1. Unfortunately for the hosts the visitors were not to be pegged back and responded at 17.10 – Nell winning the foot race with Charlie Phillips to latch on to a clearance before a pass to the slot was thumped into the top right corner by Adam Harding. A sixth was then added at 19.06 – Tomasz Malasinski dancing his way around Billy Phillips on the right and launching into the twine from the bottom of the right circle to complete a period of Swindon dominance.
In the second frame the Wildcats continued where they had left off and they added to their already considerable tally at 22.57 despite being shorthanded – Alex Symonds sending Tomasz Malasinski in all alone and the forward shifting left before rifling into the roof of the net and removing the water bottle for 7-1. Callum Folwer then hit the upright in response for the Mos but it was Swindon who would find the target again next – Aaron Nell and Jan Kostal escaping on a 2-on-1 but Nell needing no help as he dispatched into the top left corner from the right circle for his side’s eighth. The 7 goal lead saw the Wildcats switch netminders with Michael Crisp replacing Stevie Lyle between the posts and this seemed a turning point for the Dynamos who set about challenging the young shot stopper. He would be beaten at the first attempt – Steve Osman’s low shot from the back of the right circle slipping through the 5-hole at 34.36 for 8-2. The Mos then had another at 35.59 – from the left boards Callum Fowler swept to the far post where Juraj Huska turned inside the upright for his side’s third. With momentum now firmly in their favour the hosts claimed their fourth on the powerplay at 38.30 – Swindon paying the price for having too many imports on the ice as Anthony Leone found Andy Smith close right and the forward thundered home to cut the deficit to 8-4.
After a much improved display at the close of the second the Mos remained competitive in the third but neither team was able to create much in front of the target in the opening stages. That was until 50.22 when the Dynamos took another bite out of Swindon’s lead – Callum Fowler’s shot slipping wide of the target but Andy Smith gathering possession behind the net and teeing up Juraj Huska close right who did the rest for 8-5. It was the Wildcats who would have the final say on the night though – a neat exchange between Floyd Taylor and Tomasz Malisinski ending with the seemingly unstoppable Pole lashing into the roof of the net from close left to end the scoring at 55.25.
So it was defeat for the Mos but the margin of loss was respectable given the EPL opposition and the disastrous start the hosts suffered at the hands of their goal hungry visitors. Man of the match awards went to Juraj Huska for the Dynamos after his double whilst Floyd Taylor took the spoils for Swindon.