SWINDON Robins flying Dane Peter Kildemand said that the team really missed skipper Troy Batchelor as they slumped to 56-38 defeat at Elite League leaders Lakeside Hammers.
Batchelor was away in Poland for the European Grand Prix and his replacement Bjarne Pedersen could only score a 2+1.
The Robins were also missing Steve Worrall as he was with the Edinburgh Monarchs in the Premier League and his replacement Benji Compton had to withdraw with a hand injury.
“We missed Troy,” said Kildemand, who top-scored with a massive 16 points.
“He is always good around here and is good for at last 10 points and he always fires the boys up.
“We were not good enough. We tried all we could, but Benji crashed in his first heat and injured his hand, I just don’t know what to say.
Kildemand said that he will be talking to team manager Alun Rossiter in the week as they try to arrest the worrying slump that the Robins are in.
“The last thing he said before he left was that he would ring me in the week and see what we should do because we need to do something.
“We are alright, we have good team spirit, but we are not having the luck we need, but you also need some riders to win some races, the reserves are struggling, we need to do something.
“It is really frustrating when you do all you can but the team gets more and more behind.”
Robins’ boss Rossiter admitted he was disappointed with the performance of his side.
“Obviously we are bitterly disappointed with the performance because we wanted to try and come away with something.
“We are struggling a bit at reserve at the moment and Bjarne (Pedersen) normally would be good for a lot more than 2+1.
“It was a frustrating night but we just need to regroup and pick ourselves back up.”
The night began well, Kildemand starting from where he left off on Thursday night to claim a superb heat win for the visitors, but Dakota North could not score.
Dan Greenwood’s miserable time in the Robins colours continued as he and Benji Compton fell on bend three of the second heat with the former excluded. While Compton required some treatment to a hand injury, which would eventually rule him out of the meeting, after the fall and before the heat could be re-run.
The Robins failed to make the tapes leaving the Hammers pair to go it alone for a 5-0.
Watt and Bridger lead all the way to claim a maximum for the hosts in heat three, while in heat four Mikkel Bech and Lewis Bridger held on for a maximum despite North’s best efforts.
Nick Morris battled hard in heat five but could not find a way past Peter Karlsson as the hosts opened up a 22-7 lead.
Kildemand took a tactical ride in heat six and claimed a superb win, while Gustafsson put his woes behind him in heat seven to secure a superb first place for the visitors to reduce the arrears to 27-17.
Morris and North battled hard but couldn’t find a way past Davey Watt in heat eight as the hosts stretched their lead to 30-20.
The Hammers pair lead from start to finish as Compton failed to finish in heat nine and Rossiter sent Morris out for a tactical ride in heat 10 but he could not pass Karlsson to finish second.
Kildemand suffered his first defeat in two nights after a fine ride from Watt in heat 11, before the hosts claim another maximum in heat 12 as North fell on the third lap to put the Hammers went 48-28 up.
Kildemand got off to a fine start and held off Bridger for the win in heat 13. The penultimate heat saw Adam Ellis take a heavy fall, however he managed to walk away from the crash and in the re-run Mikkel Bech eased home for the hosts to make 54-34.
Kildemand added some sheen to the Robins’ score winning the last with Morris third but the Robins still fell to a heavy 56-38 defeat.