Bicknell has extra reason to beat PhantomsBy Alan Manicom
December 19, 2008
Adam Bicknell insists Bracknell Bees’ match at Peterborough Phantoms tomorrow (7pm face-off) has taken on extra significance.
Now that Bracknell Bees have been all but written off in the English Premier League title race, their best chance of winning a trophy in the regular season is to retain the EPL Cup.
And tomorrow’s crunch clash counts towards both competitions.
Bicknell’s men need three points from their two remaining cup qualifiers – against Peterborough tomorrow and then at home to Telford Tigers on February 1 – to secure a place in the semi-finals.
Even before Tuesday’s 6-3 home defeat by Slough Jets in the league, Bees’ player-boss conceded that his team’s title hopes were disappearing fast.
“We are not totally out of it in the league, but we are a long way back,” said Bicknell.
“However we are still well in with a chance in the cup and as cup holders we want to do our best again in the competition.
“We could take a massive step towards booking ourselves a place in the semi-finals if we were to beat Peterborough.
“And we would rather do it that way than have to go into the last game at home to Telford needing a win.”
Bees’ player-boss added: “It won’t be easy, though, because Peterborough are a good team and have just beaten Guildford.”
Peterborough’s 4-2 home win over the league leaders took them to within three points of top spot – and they have played five games fewer than Guildford.
And Bees will certainly need to be at their best to take any points from a Peterborough side that has won 12 of their last 15 games.
Andrius Kaminskas will definitely miss tomorrow’s match after triggering an automatic one-match ban for his match penalty against Slough.
And the Lithuanian defenceman was still waiting to hear yesterday whether his suspension will be increased by the EPL’s disciplinary panel.
Previous history suggests that Kaminskas can expect at least a two-match ban for the match penalty he received for tussling with Slough’s Scott Spearing during the post-game handshakes.
That would rule him out of Sunday’s home game against Sheffield Scimitars (6pm face-off).
Bees will, nevertheless, be hopeful of beating a Sheffield side who they thrashed 4-0 in south Yorkshire last weekend.