Swindon begin their Knockout Cup quest against Rye House at the Abbey today at 7.30pm – and boss Alun Rossiter says it’s an important competition for his side.
The CFS Filtration Robins will be looking to build up a first leg lead in this re-arranged tie, which was initially postponed due to the awful Easter weather, ahead of Wednesday’s return at Hoddesdon.
Rossiter admits the narrow semi-final exit of 2017 at Belle Vue was the only real blot on a sensational second half of last season, as he felt the Robins were capable of securing a League and Cup double.
He said: “Having won the league and the Charity Shield recently it would be nice to get our hands on this piece of silverware too.
“We beat Rye House at this stage last year and it was a shame we then had to race up at Belle Vue without our normal team because I feel we should have made another Final.”
Swindon will be at full-strength with David Bellego having enjoyed a successful weekend by booking his place in the Grand Prix Challenge later this summer.
Bellego scored 12 points in his qualifier at Lonigo in Italy, finishing second overall after winning a three-man run-off with Kevin Wolbert and Chris Harris to take one of the two available places from that race.
Ironically, Harris will again be amongst his opponents on Monday, and Rossiter is urging his side not to under-estimate a Rockets side who have been inconsistent on the road so far.
With the likes of Harris, Scott Nicholls and the World-class on his day Krzysztof Kasprzak, the Rockets do possess plenty of strength, and that could go right down the team with in-form Swindon asset Stefan Nielsen guesting for concussion victim Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen at reserve.
Rossiter added: “They had a tough start to the season with their away matches, but we all know what KK can do when he has a good night, and you also know what you’re going to get with the likes of Bomber and Scott.
“But we’re still confident in our own abilities and we showed again on Thursday that we are a strong team around the Abbey.
“So the first priority is to get a good win on the board to give us something to take to Rye House on Wednesday, and there’s no reason why we can’t do the job there as well.”
SWINDON: Nick Morris, Adam Ellis, Troy Batchelor, David Bellego, Tobiasz Musielak, Zach Wajtknecht, Jack Smith.
RYE HOUSE: Chris Harris, Aaron Summers, Krzysztof Kasprzak, Edward Kennett, Scott Nicholls, Stefan Nielsen, Max Clegg.