BRACKNELL Bees ended a 10-match losing run with an excellent 7-2 win over Swindon Wildcats at the Hive on Saturday, writes Dave Wright.

And they looked set to follow up when they took a 3-1 lead early in the third period of the return match on Monday.

However, Scott Spearing’s men were then left reeling as the Cats pulled one back before scoring three times in less than two minutes to record a 5-3 victory.

Bees can still take a lot of heart out of both performances as Swindon are a team in good form, having already won Group D while Bees had been previously eliminated.

These two performances will certainly have restored some pride and confidence in the camp.

On the basis of recent results, both sets of supporters must have been surprised by the manner in which Bracknell dominated their visitors at the Hive.

The Cats were first to score through Michael Power in the fourth minute, but shortly afterwards Spearing set up the equaliser for Callum Best.

It was the second period where Bracknell really stamped their authority on the game, beating former Bees keeper, Matt Smital, three times in quick succession.

A trademark Frankie Bakrlik finish made it 2-1 on 30:33 with an assist coming from debutant Dan Fay, one of the club’s talented teenagers.

Jan Bendik added a third on 31:10 and Josh Martin extended the lead on 34:22 from a chance set up by Danny Ingoldsby, making his return from suspension.

A stunned Swindon side took a time-out in a bid to take some sting out of the Bees and Phil Hill pulled a goal back shortly before the second break.

But the hosts got back on top in the final period of a very entertaining game with Bakrlik, who was not feeling 100 percent, getting two more to complete his hat-trick before Carl Thompson and James Galazzi finished off an excellent night’s work by the team.

Bracknell did well to contain big-scoring Swindon to just two goals as they were missing Josh Tetlow, who instead was playing for Nottingham.

But Under 18s player Fay showed his qualities with some solid work and was rewarded with the man-of-the-match prize.

Bracknell travelled down the M4 on Monday looking for a quick double and that looked on the cards for a time.

There were a few seconds under 10 minutes on the clock when Barker put them ahead with a power-play goal, Bakrlik and Spearing providing the assists.

Sam Godfrey levelled things up in the 24th minute, but within two minutes the visitors were back in front when again on power play, Tom Avery found the net with Best and Bendik creating the opening.

It was 3-1 just 42 seconds into the final period with Spearing finishing off a move involving Best and Norcliffe and Bees fans were anticipating another victory.

However, hopes of a dream start to 2018 for Bracknell soon disappeared.

Edgars Bebris pulled a goal back in the 46th minute and it inspired Swindon to turn up the pressure even further on Danny Milton’s goal.

And the young keeper, along with a tiring defence, could do nothing to stop Floyd Taylor, on 51:12 and 52:59, and Aaron Nell (51:35) securing victory for the hosts.

Swindon complete their Group D fixtures with 10 wins from 12 games, while Bees finish bottom, currently on six points with the trip to second-placed Telford still to come on Thursday of next week, January 11.

Following their two National Cup ties last weekend, Bees can now concentrate on the league and improve their current placing of fourth, starting with a return to Swindon this Saturday (6.15pm face-off), followed by Basingstoke at the Hive on Sunday (6pm).

Bees’ final cup game at Telford, which was postponed on December 10 because of bad weather, has been re-arranged for Thursday, January 11 (7.30pm).