Bracknell Bees coach Gareth Cox keen for his side to build on recent successesBy Lewis Rudd
October 25, 2012
Bracknell Bees coach Gareth Cox is calling on his players to keep up the momentum after the side made it three EPIHL wins in a row with weekend victories over Swindon Wildcats and the Sheffield Steeldogs.
Confidence is high within the camp following the 4-3 overtime win in Wiltshire on Saturday night, which was followed up 24 hours later with a thumping 8-1 success over an ill-disciplined South Yorkshire outfit at The Hive.
The two victories, coupled with the 3-2 penalty success over the Wildcats in Bracknell a week earlier, has helped propel the Bees up to joint fourth in the table, where they are tied on 14 points with both Slough Jets and Guildford Flames.
And while a season is neither won nor lost after just 12 games, coach Cox is keen for his charges to keep up the winning habit as they look to end a three year play-off exodus.
He said: “Tied for fourth is a great place to be at the moment and we are very happy.
“But is obviously early days in the league and there is still a long way to go. This is a difficult league and we have got to keep playing at the same level we have been in recent weeks if we are to secure a spot in the play-offs.”
Bees will be looking to extend their winning run this weekend when they face two sides at opposite ends of the table.
Bottom club Telford Tigers first visit The Hive on Saturday (6pm) before Cox takes his charges to table-toppers Manchester Phoenix on Sunday (5.30pm).
And the coach is wary of the threats both sides will pose to his in-form team.
“This is a big weekend for us,” Cox said.
“Telford is always a tough game and they are one of the hardest teams to play in the league. They give it their all in every game and we have to make sure we are playing to our strengths.
“Manchester are flying at the moment and this will be another tough game.
“Hopefully we can take the momentum away from them early and have that little bit of consistency needed to win at places like Manchester.”
Cox is hopeful of handing some game time this weekend to forward Oliver Bronnimann, who has been returning to fitness in recent weeks following a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a leg injury.
Should Bronnimann not be risked, Cox is happy to call upon the services of Grant Rounding, who grabbed his first goal for the club during the demolition job of the Steeldogs on Sunday.
The 26-year-old has also chipped in with an assist during his nine appearances for the Bees this season and his coach has been full of praise for his efforts.
Cox said: “He is a fantastic player who has been doing a fantastic job for us as Oliver Bronniman’s replacement while he is injured. He can create the play well and was fully deserving of his goal on Sunday.”
The club is also sweating on the fitness of Scott Spearing, who suffered an arm injury during the win over the Steeldogs.
Swindon Wildcats 3 Bracknell Bees 4: Period: 0-0, 2-1, 1-2, 0-1. PIM: 14-14; SOG: 41-39. Wildcats: Kapicka 1+1, Hoog 2+1, Perkkio 0+1, Taylor 0+1, Swindlehurst 0+1. Bees: Petran 1+0, Munroe 1+0, Lack 1+0, Thompson 1+0, Galazzi 0+1, Oakford 0+1, Smital 0+1, Spearing 0+1.
Bracknell Bees 8 Sheffield Steeldogs 1: Period: 2-0, 1-0, 5-1. PIM: 22-57, SOG: 25-34, Bees: Petran 1+1, Lamey 2+2, Lack 1+0, Masa 1+1, Bendik 1+1, Rounding 1+0, Thompson 1+1, Galazzi 0+2, Smital 0+4, Spearing 0+1. Steeldogs: Hirst 1+0, Brittle 0+1, Gomeniuk 0+1.