BOSS Alun Rossiter admitted his Robins side carried too many passengers once again as they went down to 53-40 defeat at Eastbourne last night.
Despite another stellar display from Steve Worrall, with 13+1, the only other resistance to the hosts’ dominance was Dakota North with eight, while guest Davey Watt, Simon Gustafsson, Nick Morris and Nathan Greaves combined for only 10 points.
Skipper Troy Batchelor managed nine from five rides, although six came from a tactical victory in heat 10, but only six race winners, of which Worrall managed four, was nowhere near enough to halt an Eagles side led by Joonas Kylmakorpi (12) and Bjarne Pedersen (12+2).
The meeting provided little in the way of entertainment with most races won from the gate on a night where it was difficult to pass, with Rossiter admitting his side just didn’t have the strength in depth to stop the hosts from jumping back into the play-off places at the Robins’ expense.
“We carried too many passengers again,” Rossiter said.
“There wasn’t much passing and we need to sort our gating out, that’s obvious, but we had too many passengers and not enough riders contributed.
“We were in with a shout but it didn’t happen, although Steve put in another good performance. We can’t just have one good rider carrying us, we need to sort some things out.
"We ride against Eastbourne again on Thursday and that's a meeting we need to get all the points from."
With the black rain clouds circling and the wind howling, Pedersen blew the Robins pair away with a big start from the outside and left North trailing in second with Watt at the back.
With the Eagles top reserve, Lewis Blackbird, missing through injury, Worrall took advantage with a lightning gate which left the home pair for dead. However, he had to do it all again as referee Paul Carrington invited all four riders back for a restart despite Danny Halsey hitting the deck trying to sneak up the inside of Worrall on the exit of turn two.
Another good start from Worrall was wasted as the red lights were slammed on again, but it was third time lucky as he burst away to beat Ellis.
The scores were level after Gustafsson stormed out the trap to lead Cam Woodward home, with Batchelor backing him up for a heat advantage, before Kylmakorpi gave the hosts the lead again with a gate-and-go victory in heat four.
A dominant 5-1 from Pedersen and Mikkel Michelsen gave the hosts a stranglehold on the meeting, before Kylmakorpi’s second win of the night saw the lead stretched to eight points by the time Bob Dugard emerged on his tractor for grading.
A 3-3 in heat seven, with Timo Lahti winning, was followed by a maximum from Kylmakorpi and Woodward left the Robins were in tactical territory, although they were unable to use it in the second reserves race which Worrall won following another impressive start.
Batchelor eventually went in black and white in heat 10, making the gate to win, although Gustafsson was unable to back him up at the back after initially holding up the start due to the fact he was wearing the wrong helmet colour.
After the interval, Morris was excluded after going over his handlebars in the opening turn as three riders bunched together, with Woodward winning the re-run as the Eagles stretched their lead by two, although those points were instantly taken back by Worrall as his victory was backed up North.
Watt locked up and lost second place as Batchelor retired from heat 13, leaving the visitors on the brink of going home pointless, before it looked as though the Robins were going to hold on by a fingernail going into the final corner of heat 14. With Worrall well on the way to win number four, Morris was backing him up in third when he clipped the white line in the final corner, falling and losing third to Halsey.
Morris’s mishap meant all the points were gone before an Eastbourne 4-2 ended the night.
The two teams face off again at Blunsdon on Thursday, with Swindon again missing Peter Kildemand due to injury.