Elite League Speedway: Champions lose at home
Champions Swindon missed the chance to return to the top of the Elite League table after a shock defeat to Belle Vue.
Last Updated: 23/08/13 11:02am
Swindon lost Danish star Peter Kildemand to an early injury and with number one Hans Andersen out of sorts, they never got going and did not lead at one point during the meeting which Belle Vue dominated.
The Aces were lead brilliantly by Grand Prix star Matej Zagar who claimed a perfect 15-point maximum, whilst Kevin Wolbert (12+1) and Josh Grajczonek (10+1) provided excellent back-up.
Swindon boss Alun Rossiter was far from pleased with the performance of his side.
"Obviously the loss of Peter (Kildemand) was a big blow for us but I have to say Hans Andersen was well below par for us and he looked a shadow of the rider he was at the start of the season," said Rossiter.
"It's not the result we wanted, but top spot isn't too important for us and we remain confident we can beat whoever is put in front of us in the play-offs despite this result."
It is Birmingham who remain top of the table after they beat Peterborough on Wednesday, but they were taken all the way by the Panthers and only won it in Heat 15 at Perry Barr.
Peterborough were only behind once in the match, and that was after the final race as Birmingham just did enough to take the win.
British pair Ben Barker (13+1) and Danny King (11+3) led the Brummies home, fending off a string Peterborough charge led by in-form Dane Patrick Hougaard - who claimed paid 15.
Peterborough co-promoter Trevor Swales remains confident his side can make the play-offs and said: "Birmingham rode well to pull us back after we pulled clear a few times, so fair play to them.
"The only time we were behind was after Heat 15 which is not good, and we would have obviously liked more than a point to help our chase for the play offs.
"We've still got plenty of fixtures remaining so I'm confident we can still make that top four."
King's Lynn claimed a 48-43 win over Coventry but their play-off hopes took a hit as they allowed the Bees to claim a point.
A 3-3 in Heat 15 would have given The Stars all three league points, but Mads Korneliussen and Rory Schlein conceded a 4-2 Krzysztof Kasprzak and Scott Nicholls.
Team boss Rob Lyon admits the Stars are struggling to make the play-offs and said: "Ideally I would have liked three points. We knew Coventry would be tough. Without doubt they have got riders that can do damage around here.
"If we are still in the mix we need to strengthen our team. It's pretty clear we can't make it with the team we have now."