Deeside Dragons player-coach Steve Fellows said he was pleased to see his side ‘win ugly’ as they ground out a 7-5 home triumph over Blackburn Eagles on Sunday.
In a game littered with mistakes from both sides, the Dragons held their nerve on home ice to see of the challenge of their visitors and exorcise the demons of their 8-1 loss to the Lancastrians earlier in the season.
Chris Jones was in clinical form for the Dragons as he found the net four times in the victory, which Fellows believes has given his side a timely boost ahead of next Sunday’s trip to unbeaten table-toppers Solihull Barons.
“It was one of those games where both teams made mistakes and one of those games where it could have gone either way,” said Fellows, whose side sit fourth in the ENIHL Laidler Conference.
“It was a really interesting game and the fans were on the edge of their seats. The lead kept changing hands throughout and it certainly wasn’t one of our best performances.
“But I said to one of the coaches on the Thursday before the game that I would rather have to battle and win a close game than cruise to an easy win. You learn more about your team that way.
“When you have to dig deep and fight for a win it brings you together as a team. We managed to win ugly, which is something we weren’t doing at the start of the season, so that’s pleasing.”
Jones’ four goals were added to by individual efforts from Michael Jones and youngsters Jack Meadows and Ross Kennedy to seal the Dragons seventh win of the campaign.
The Dragons face a stern test of their credentials next Sunday (6pm) when they travel to the Midlands to take on the Barons, who boast 12 wins from 12 games this season.
While acknowledging the toughness of the task awaiting them, Fellows isn’t in the business of throwing in the towel before they have even taken to the ice.
“We had to roll up our sleeves and battle on Sunday and we are going to have to do that again this weekend,” said Fellows.
“Solihull are a great club and they’re flying, but we’ll be going there with nothing to lose and we’ll be taking an underdog mentality.
“Some teams have gone close against them this season and Widnes scored five against them at the weekend.
“We can take heart from that and we will be giving it our everything against them. The pressure is all on Solihull and we’re all looking forward to the challenge.”