Head coach Doug Sheppard blamed a lack of sharpness for Bracknell Bees’ 4-3 defeat by Swindon Wildcats on Sunday, writes Dave Wright.

Despite twice being ahead, Bees trailed 3-2 before a Josh Smith equaliser took the game to overtime, where the visitors quickly sealed the victory.

“The game was definitely there for us to take,” said a disappointed Sheppard. “But for whatever reason, we were not at our best. We were a little bit slack. We were not sharp enough mentally.

“We didn’t have the jump in our legs which I understand as we had a tough game on Saturday.

“But when you have only two games on the weekend and you are home with a big game like this one (Swindon), we certainly have got to be more switched on. As a team, we have got more to give than that.

“I thought Swindon were there to be beaten although, to be honest, I don’t think they were at their best either.”

Bees started well enough, taking a 2-1 lead, but the unbeaten Wildcats scored twice in the second period, while Bees edged the final 20 minutes.

“We should have definitely taken more advantage of the first period,” said Sheppard. “Their goalie outplayed ours. He made a couple of big saves.

“I think the turning point of the game was when he (Renny Marr) made a big save from Vanya (Antonov) and then Swindon went down and got their short-handed goal.”

Sheppard would also like to see more firepower from his forwards, having seen them score just three goals from 50 shots in their 3-2 win at Milton Keynes Thunder on Saturday before squandering several good chances against Swindon.

He added: “Josh Smith stepped up with another big goal for us – he has been doing it time and time again – but we need some other guys stepping up as well.”

With three points from the weekend, Bees stay top of the NIHL South One table ahead of the home game with fifth-placed Peterborough Phantoms on Saturday (6pm pushback). After the game, spectators will be allowed on the ice to skate with the Bracknell players.