February 20th – Slough Jets Programme

Hello and welcome to the Hangar for tonight’s match up with the Swindon Wildcats. It’s a back to back home and away weekend and we have the second leg of the weekend.

Lots to write about over what’s been a very successful week for the Jets with three massive wins. Firstly the midweek cup win over the Guildford Flames and what a game it was. It was a not only a great advert for the sport but also a fine result for the team. The downside for me was that there weren’t more Slough supporters there to witness the massive overturn of the Flames.

That 8-4 win gives us a massive lead in the second leg at the Spectrum. It’s not a guaranteed win as yet and I know the team will approach the fixture with the same mentality as always but what it does mean is that Guildford need to beat us by 5 goals where as we have 3 goals to play with.

Then at the weekend we beat the league’s current two top teams home and away. Manchester travelled to the Hangar on Saturday and really just didn’t get going. I thought we played a fantastic game and kept them at bay for the majority of the night.

The win was slightly over-shadowed by the injury to Ladislav Harrabin towards the end of the game. Home player, away player or any player I don’t like seeing anyone get injured and I hope he makes a full and speedy recovery from his injury. From the injured player’s point of view I’m sure he’s grateful for the quick intervention of Ryan Watt and also for the fact that we had Julie, an off duty paramedic, in our support who was able to help in his treatment before the ambulance arrived. Hockey is a fantastic family and thanks to everyone’s quick thinking Ladislav’s injured has been minimised.

On Sunday we travelled to the Spectrum and it’s fair to say right now we have the upper hand over the Flames. We beat them on their own ice in the league a couple of weeks ago and we hammered them on our ice midweek. Sunday was a different encounter altogether and finally we saw the reason the Flames are second in the league by the time the game got underway. The Jets held a two goal lead which Guildford eroded quickly and then the score see-sawed through the third period but our strength and depth gave us the means to come out with the game winning goal under pressure when it mattered and take a further two points.

Given the win the previous weekend over MK as well it’s been a tremendous week for the Jets and bodes well for the rest of the season. Manchester and Guildford, as I have said before, are both quality teams and teams which have to be respected but we’ve proved beyond any doubt now that we are up there with them. Pete has done a fantastic job tweaking the team and the systems and heading into the crucial run-in we have a team capable of taking on any comers in this league.

Tonight’s visitors are the Swindon Wildcats, one of the four teams currently looking to secure the last two play-off spots. I think the Wildcats are probably pretty safe now given the huge gap between themselves and 9 and 10 in the table. If I had to put my money down now I’d put Swindon and Sheffield in the play-offs with Telford 9th and Bracknell 10th. However it’s not my opinion that counts in results in the tables and you can bet Swindon will be heading into this weekend prepared.

Double header weekends usually work up a certain amount of niggle so I’m sure we’re in for another great game this evening.

Enjoy the game

My team, your team, OUR TEAM