MAKING a team change has never been so complicated...
A bumper crowd arrived at the Showground for this Elite League clash, the majority of whom were keen to see Danish star Hans Andersen competing for the Buildbase Bees.
And that comment applies to those of both a Peterborough and a Coventry persuasion, Bees supporters to welcome their new signing, Panthers fans to thank Andersen for his commitment to the club over the last two seasons.
Of course, for reasons described elsewhere, Andersen was reduced to a role of supporting his new team-mates in the pits throughout the meeting.
Here we had a rider banned from the sport having gone public regarding the monies owed to him - and which remain owed to him, even after Wednesday - and his enforced absence from British Speedway was extended still further.
So it should not have been a night for any great celebration, even if Ryan Sullivan made an heroic return to the Panthers' ranks with a brilliant performance after a first-ride last place.
In fact, the whole atmosphere of the event was somewhat surreal, nobody quite sure of how the situation had been allowed to develop but home fans surely relieved that they still have a club to support after over a month without a Showground fixture.
The fixture list effectively had Bees in the wrong place at the wrong time, and whilst an away win would have been some form of justice, that was always going to be a tough call against a team built, declared and passed to compete on very different restrictions.
And Bees will remain grateful for Rory Schlein for his professional approach at a tough time, whilst emphasising that the decision to release him when Andersen finally comes in is purely another example of the dreaded numbers game.
As has proved to be the case on many occasions in recent years, Bees actually made a flying start to a Showground fixture and fashioned a 5-1 opening with a flying start from Olly Allen and a terrific third bend from Chris Harris to take him clear of Lukas Dryml.
Had Sullivan's struggles in that race continued, it may well have been a different story - but the Australian star clearly made the required changes in time for his next race.
Meanwhile, Ben Barker again underlined his development with a quick gate and intelligent defence of the lead in Heat 2, initially from Claus Vissing and then from Henning Bager as Andreas Messing struggled.
And Bees were away in first and second places again in Heat 3 as Schlein checked-out early on, Kenneth Bjerre eventually catching Billy Janniro on the third lap after the Bees man had bravely gone in between the Panthers duo on the back straight. Peterborough's fightback commenced in Heat 4, their deficit slashed from six to two points with Daniel King and Vissing out-gating and sandwiching Simon Stead into turn one, and then racing clear for maximum points.
Heat 5 was shared thanks to a fine ride by Bjerre, who chased Allen on the inside for two laps before switching successfully for the outside, Harris having to settle for third place after going wide at the start and coming back inside Karol Zabik off the second bend.
Panthers levelled the scores in Heat 6 although that could have been worse but for Stead finding a way inside Dryml going into the second lap - but another Panthers 5-1 did materialise in Heat 7 with King trapping and Bager producing a clever switch on the first two bends to leave Schlein and Janniro out of position.
Bees replaced Messing with Barker in Heat 8 and held a 4-2 situation for a time as Allen rode an excellent first lap around the boards to make it past Vissing. Dryml, however, showed his track knowledge to displace Barker and ended up chasing Allen to the flag.
Three more shared heats followed, Stead riding a good race in Heat 9 to hold off a strong early challenge from Bjerre before the Panthers man nearly hit the fence on the second lap, whilst Heat 10 saw Sullivan jet from the start with Schlein and Janniro fending off Dryml.
And Heat 11 was probably the best of the night with a ding-dong battle up-front between Harris and King featuring passing and re-passing - with third-placed Bager also at close quarters. Harris eventually took it on the line with a dramatic late outside surge, although the gap was maintained at four points as Allen had missed the start for the first time in an otherwise impressive display.
Heat 12 was a lengthy affair with Schlein initially left with virtually no space against the back straight fence by Vissing, and then falling on turn three next time around. Fortunately he walked away and the re-run saw Vissing too come to grief, spectacularly so into the second bend air-fence as he challenged Barker for second place. Once more, the fallen rider walked away to general relief.
A 3-2, with Bjerre taking the awarded win, increased the margin to five points and it stayed that way during a Heat 13 which was the classic case of two races for the price of one - Harris throwing everything at Sullivan for the lead, and Stead resolutely defending third place from King.
There was then another delay due to a deflating air-fence, and it was fortunate that the circling storm-clouds did not deposit a downpour onto the stadium. The Panthers secured their win on the night when Zabik finally came to the party in Heat 14, going around Janniro off the second bend with Bager, who rode extremely well all night, using his trademark inside line to also come through for a 5-1.
And the final result became even more harsh on the Bees when they conceded another 5-1 in Heat 15, which was another excellent race albeit staged effectively with three riders after Allen suffered a mechanical failure away from the start-line. Harris engaged in battle with Sullivan and Bjerre and was desperately unlucky not to take at least second place on the line - but it was the Panthers who got the verdict.
At least the quality of the racing in the meeting was some relief from the shenanigans of recent days - but Bees will feel that the overall backdrop of the event was something which should not have happened, and they now need to respond where it matters most... on the track.