Basingstoke Town prepare to host league leaders - without captain Wes Daly

Basingstoke Gazette: Wes Daly will miss Saturday's game against Bromley. Buy this photo » Wes Daly will miss Saturday's game against Bromley.

BASINGSTOKE Town manager Jason Bristow is busy preparing for the visit of Conference South leaders Bromley – but he will have to do without captain Wes Daly.

The midfield playmaker is suspended for Saturday’s game against his former club (kick-off 3pm) after picking up five bookings.

His absence is a big blow for Bristow, who has indicated that he may have to change the shape of the team as a result.

“Wes Daly is a big loss for us,” the Town boss said. “He is an important player for us but we have got a good squad and it will be a chance for somebody else to show what they can do.

“We don’t have a like-for-like replacement, which means that we have a job to do in the coming days. We need to pick a team to beat Bromley, which might mean changing our shape, but that is the challenge now.”

Bromley go into the game on the crest of a wave. Tuesday night’s 2-0 win away at Dover was their seventh straight win in the Conference South and they sit proudly atop the table, seven points clear of second-placed Eastleigh.

By contrast, Town have struggled in recent weeks, failing to win any of their last four games against Conference South sides.

Bromley won 3-2 when the sides met in Kent back in September – but Bristow believes that his side can spring a surprise if they produce their best football.

“Our home record is pretty good and we are confident as a squad,” he said. “We know that we can match them if we play at our best.

“It is important that we do not get overawed by them. We will try to cause them problems. If we can start well and get them on the back foot then we have a chance.

“It’s going to be our toughest test yet though. Bromley have some real attacking threats but they don’t concede many, possibly because they are so potent going forward.”

Town have been struggling badly going forward, failing to score in six-and-a-half hours’ play against Conference South sides. However, they did manage to score twice in the Hampshire Senior Cup on Tuesday night, Kezie Ibe scoring both to push his claims for a place in the side.

“I thought Kezie had a great game on Tuesday,” Bristow added. “He scored two good goals and performed well, so he is pushing for a place in the side.”

Visit our website, basingstokegazette.co.uk/sport, for live updates from the Camrose on Saturday.

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