Swindon proved too hot to handle at the Abbey Stadium as they charged to a comprehensive 58-32 win over Belle Vue, taking all three Premiership points while the visitors went home empty-handed.
The early loss of Tero Aarnio after a fall in his first appearance brought the Rentruck Aces down to six men, a misfortune that the Robins were quick to capitalise on and take control of the meeting.
A sense of déjà vu swept across the Mancunian camp as the hosts continued to widen the gap, but all the while they maintained their composure and battled vigorously to try and reign them back in.
Defeat at the Abbey Stadium means a lot of work to do in August to secure their top four spot, with team boss Mark Lemon demanding a big response when they journey to Ipswich on August 1.
He said: “Collectively it wasn’t good enough. Individually, we had some positive results, but we just weren’t clicking as a unit. That’s something that needs to be addressed and assessed urgently.
“We have to give credit to Swindon. They have been very strong at home this season and having the R/R facility for Adam Ellis probably made them a little stronger. The better team won on the night.
“It didn’t help us when Tero crashed out with a suspected broken rib; that put extra pressure on Dimitri [Bergé] and the rest of the boys. It was a very tough night where nothing went our way.
“We thought we chose the right gates to begin with, but they went against us. When the gates should’ve come to us throughout the night, they didn’t. The tactical substitute backfired… The list goes on.
“But it’s how we deal with this that will define our intentions. It is a heavy loss but it’s even more crucial now that the boys pick themselves up and step up their game as we go into August.”
The 2019 ‘Sports Insure’ British Final returns to Manchester’s National Speedway Stadium on Monday, July 29 when the best of British go into battle for the right to call himself champion.
Tickets available online at www.bellevue-speedway.com