LUKA Basic sparked off a remarkable recovery to help Bracknell Bees to upset the form book by winning at Peterborough on Saturday, writes Dave Wright.

The league’s bottom club twice trailed the third-placed Phantoms by three goals, but stormed back to tie things up at 6-6 before going on to snatch the penalty shoot for a 7-6 win.

It was the first time they had beaten Peterborough in four seasons.

Bees suffered a blow just before the game when Scott Spearing was forced to pull out after aggravating his old knee problem.

Josh Tetlow was also missing as he is serving a four-match suspension, imposed by the EPIHL following recent disciplinary issues, including a butt-ending incident at Swindon a week earlier.

Another defeat looked on the cards when the slow-starting Bees conceded three goals inside the opening nine minutes.

Basic opened his side’s account just after the 13-minute mark, only for Phantoms to score their fourth goal before the end of the opening period.

“We knew we had to do better and we came out of the locker room (for the second period) determined to be a better team,” Basic later revealed.

“We raised our level and turned things around.”

Within four minutes of the resumption, Carl Thompson had made it 4-2 and then Rio Grinell-Parke reduced the deficit even further, with Lukas Smital having helped to set up both goals.

Phantoms made it 5-3, but Bees didn’t let their heads drop and silenced the home fans by drawing level with goals from Shaun Thompson on 35:09 and Basic on 48:41.

It got even better for the visitors on 50 minutes when Shaun Thompson put them ahead for the first time, thanks to Basic and David Gaborcik, who was providing his third assist of the game.

But Bees could not hold out in regulation time with Peterborough making it 6-6 on 54:17.

Bracknell went close to grabbing victory in overtime, but they needed penalties and saw Basic and then Smital find the back of the net.

“I am always pleased to score goals but more importantly we got two points,” said 27-year-old Slovakian Basic.

“When you take a penalty you are always a bit nervous, but I was happy to score and then Lukas also scored to win the match for us.”

Player-coach Smital was voted his side’s man of the match.

It was Alex Barker’s turn to take the honours on Sunday with three goals and an assist as Bees defeated Swindon Wildcats 5-4 in a thriller at The Hive.

With their confidence substantially boosted from their success in East Anglia, Bees always looked to have the measure of their visitors.

The Wildcats, who a week earlier had beaten Bees 6-5 on penalties at home, didn’t help themselves by getting into penalty trouble with Jan Kostal and Stephen Whitfield both visiting the sin-bin inside the opening three minutes.

Bees took advantage to open the scoring through Barker on 3:27.

Lukas Smital doubled his side’s lead with another power-play goal on 23:36, with Basic and Shaun Thompson having helped set up both goals.

Lukas saw his teenage son Matt, playing in goal, beaten for the first time with a power-play goal from Jonas Hoog on 25:56.

But it took Bees less than three minutes to regain their two-goal advantage, Lukas and Barker creating the chance for Shaun Thompson.

The two-goal deficit was halved again by Tomasz Malasinski on 38:53 before Barker made it 4-2 in the final minute of a particularly exciting second period.

Bees conceded another power-play goal, this time to the unassisted Phil Hill, on 46:33.

But, with 17-year-old Matt Smital in good form between the pipes, Bracknell were looking secure in defence and they made it 5-3 when Barker completed his hat-trick on 51:49 with Basic getting his fourth assist of the night and Shaun Thompson his third.

Swindon did pull a goal back through Lee Richardson on 56:15 to set up a nervy finish for their fans, but Bees held on for a well-deserved win.

Basic commented: “It was another two good points for us. I think that is the first time we have won both games on the same weekend this season.

“We have closed the gap to eight spot for the play-offs and we now need to keep on going.

“All games are going to be tough, but we believe we can win them. We will keep believing all the way to the end.”

  • BRACKNELL Bees Supporters Club are holding a digital race night in the Honies Restaurant at The Hive tonight (Wednesday) starting at 7.30pm. Several players are expected to attend.

Admission is £3 for club members and season-ticket holders, and £5 for non-members.