LAKESIDE kept their play-off hopes alive as they snatched a last gasp consolation Elite League point from a 48-42 defeat at King’s Lynn.
The Vortex Hammers looked set to have their season come to a premature end, but heat 15 heroics from captain Andreas Jonsson saved the day for the Purfleet club.
It means the Hammers head into Friday’s home meeting against the Stars knowing another win is a must to keep the pressure on fellow fourth placed Swindon.
And club coach Kelvin Tatum is confident his side can do just that after being encouraged by a rare point on the road.
Said Tatum: "After giving King’s Lynn a head start, we battled back really well.
"We got ourselves in front with a 5-1 in heat ten and then came the interval.
"The track changed a little bit after that and we just couldn’t get enough back to get the win.
"For the first two laps of heat 15, King’s Lynn were sitting on a 5-1 and our season was over.
"But Andreas (Jonsson) played a true captain’s role and he rode like his life depended on it to force his way through for a vital second place.
"We’ve got the minimum of what we came for and it could be a vital consolation point.
"However, we seriously could have got all four points here tonight because we were in some really good positions at times and just didn’t hold on.
"But I can’t fault the effort of the team; they knew what was at stake tonight and their performance on track showed that.
"Now we move onto tomorrow’s home meeting against the Stars and we know three points are an absolute must."
Reserve Lewis Kerr top scored for the Hammers as he bagged three crucial race wins against his former club.
Skipper Andreas Jonsson picked up five second places, including a hard fought heat 15 to ultimately claim the all important point for the Hammers.
Edward Kennett recovered from a last place in his opening ride to reel off three straight wins while guest Danny King scored eight points for his efforts.
While Lewis Bridger, Richard Lawson and guest reserve Danny Halsey all had below par nights, their points proved vital in keeping Lakeside’s play-off hopes alive.
A full meeting preview will be issued on Friday morning ahead of the home clash against King’s Lynn.
KING’S LYNN 48: Niels-Kristian Iversen 12, Nicklas Porsing 9+1, Kai Huckenbeck 9, Robert Lambert 8, Carl Wilkinson 5, James Sarjeant 4+3, Troy Batchelor 1.
LAKESIDE 42: Lewis Kerr 11, Andreas Jonsson 10+1, Edward Kennett 9, Danny King 8, Lewis Bridger 2, Richard Lawson 1+1, Daniel Halsey 1.