ROBIN Kovar celebrated his delayed home debut for Bracknell Bees with an impressive match-winning performance against Milton Keynes Lightning on Sunday, writes Dave Wright.

The 35-year-old Czech, having recovered from the injury he sustained pre-season, scored twice in the game which ended all square at 3-3 after overtime and was then the only player to find the net in the penalty shoot-out, so giving his side a 4-3 victory.

It was a much-needed success following Bees' 5-0 hammering at Swindon Wildcats the previous night when they drew a disappointing blank from 30 shots at goal.

And their failure to convert chances continued for almost two-thirds of the game at The Hive, as it wasn't until the penultimate minute of the second period when Will Stead opened Bees' account from Roman Malink's pass to cancel out Rio Grinell-Parke's 10th-minute opener for Lightning.

Until then, Bees had been a long way off their sharpest, possibly still recovering from their defeat at the hands of the Wildcats.

Stead's well-taken goal, however, appeared to ease some of the pressure off the team and should have given them a boost going into the third period.

But after just 26 seconds Ben Russell restored the lead for MK and that seemed to rile up the players.

They ran into disciplinary problems which at one point saw three Bees sitting in the sin-bin at the same time, and briefly it was three and then four against MK's five on the ice.

Yet, to their credit, the team wearing special purple shirts as they show their support for Royal Marsden Hospital's cancer appeal sorted themselves out with Kovar their main inspiration.

Bracknell, cranking up their intensity, made it 2-2 when Kovar cut in from the right and hammered an unstoppable shot past Jordan Lawday with a power-play goal in the 50th minute, and within three minutes Kovar put them ahead by converting a chance set up by Aidan Doughty.

Bracknell's battle to stay in front wasn't helped when they lost the services of Brendan Baird for the rest of the game for a roughing offence.

And they were made to pay in less than a minute with ex-Bee Grinell-Parke making it 3-3 with a little over six minutes left.

With no further scoring, the game went into three-on-three overtime, where the hosts lost Malinik to the sin-bin, giving MK an extra player for two minutes, but Bees held firm during the powerplay to take the game into a penalty shoot-out.

Doughty missed the first, but home netminder Adam Goss denied Lightning on three occasions and Kovar's third goal of the night was sufficient to give his side the victory.

Bees have a quick opportunity to gain revenge for their five-goal drubbing at Swindon as they host the Wildcats at The Hive this Sunday (5.30pm).