Lightning’s series of league games against Swindon Wildcats ended on a disappointing note with a 5-1 defeat at the Link Centre.
It was the fifth defeat to Wildcats in six outings this campaign and will be a blow to the team’s bid to climb the table - being one of the three games in hand they had over seventh placed Sheffield Steeldogs.
In addition Lightning remain on course to surpass their worst ever goals against total of 182 - 154 being conceded so far this year with nine league games remaining.
Yet at the second interval Lightning were still in with a chance of taking something as they only trailed by one goal. But three late strikes killed off their hopes.
Wildcats took the lead on the powerplay after Chris Wiggins was penalised for boarding in the 15th minute. It took Aaron Nell, assisted by Jan Kostal, 54 seconds to find a way past netminder Jordan Hedley.
Within two minutes the visitors were level - even though they were a man down at the time after John Connolly was sin binned for tripping. Lewis Hook was the man on the mark with an unassisted effort after he intercepted a cross ice pass and broke away to beat goalie Steve Lyle at 17mins 45secs.
The second period was only 2mins 38secs old when Floyd Taylor’s top corner shot beat Hedley to give the home outfit the advantage.
There were just two penalties in the middle section - Wildcats kept at bay when Grant McPherson was serving time for tripping in the 28th minute while Lightning unable to make anything of a 31st call on Taylor for tripping.
Wildcats held their slender one goal lead until Jonas Hoog helped out when Nell made it 3-1 at 49mins 30secs with a well placed shot.
Hoog was on hand to provide the assist for Nell to complete his hat-trick at 58mins 59secs before Lightning’s miserable night was compounded with Adam Harding setting up Tomas Kana to make it 5-1 with 28 seconds remaining.
Lightning are away to Bracknell Bees on Saturday while they have a rare home game on Sunday against Sheffield Steeldogs at 5.15pm with admission for children being £1.