BRACKNELL Bees left their supporters frustrated once again after another weekend of fluctuating fortunes on the ice, writes Dave Wright.

The team which is consistently inconsistent pulled off something of a shock 6-4 win at second-in-the-table Swindon Wildcats on Saturday, only to be brought crashing back to earth 24 hours later when they lost 7-4 at home to Basingstoke Bison.

It means they have yet to record a four-point weekend this season and it is now more than two months since they managed to string two successive victories together.

Bees' form at the Hive is proving particularly disappointing as this was their third defeat in the last four home games, and that is hampering their hopes of moving out of the National League's bottom three.

While it was a very creditable team performance at Swindon, Doug Sheppard's side owed a big debt of gratitude to netminder Danny Milton, as he was by far the busiest of the two goalies, facing 43 shots in all, compared to the 28 which Bees fired towards his opposing number, Tyler Michael Perre.

Bees were more clinical with their finishing, silencing the home fans by racing into a three-goal lead with Aidan Doughty opening their scoring with a power-play goal at 11:58, followed by Roman Malinik at 14:01 and Dominik Gabaj 16:32.

Ryan Webb extended the lead to 4-0 just 23 seconds into the middle period, only to see Chris Jones open Swindon's account shortly afterwards.

A short-handed goal by Josh Martin on 32:34 made it 5-1, but Bracknell then appeared to take their foot off the pedal, allowing the Wildcats to pull back three goals through Tyler Vankleef (35:52), Edgars Bebris (35:57) and Sam Bullas (41:25) and set up a tense finish.

With time running out, Swindon withdrew their netminder to go with an extra skater, only for Gabaj to take advantage by slotting the puck into an empty in the last minute to seal the win.

Not surprisingly, Milton was named Bees' man-of-the-match.

The victory raised hopes of Bracknell recording a four-point weekend, but they were dealt a severe blow when Basingstoke scored twice in the opening three minutes through Sean Norris and Sam Talbot.

Malinik got Bracknell off the mark on 12:46, but another goal from Talbot (17:11) saw Bison 3-1 ahead by the first interval.

That scoreline was repeated in the middle period with Bees' goal coming at 27:31 from Josh Ealey-Newman, who was back on the ice following his four-match ban, while Bison's marksmen were Ashley Tait, with a short-handed goal at 21:05, followed by Richard Bordowski (32:09) and Adam Harding (36:33), both coming on the power-play.

At least, Bees won the final stanza 2-1, conceding a short-handed goal to Michal Klejna before the hosts rounded off the scoring through Doughty's power-play goal at 54:39 and Gabaj less than a minute later.

In all, Bracknell had 31 shots at goal, six fewer than Bison, with Harvey Stead being voted their man-of-the-match.

Bees stay ninth in the standings going into next weekend's games, away to Peterborough Phantoms on Saturday (7pm) and home to Swindon on Sunday (5.30pm).

Caly Robertson, who recently left Bees as he wanted a club nearer his home in Scotland, has signed for bottom-of-the-table Leeds Chiefs, who are currently nine points behind Bracknell with two games in hand.