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Bristow praise for injury-hit Basingstoke Town
BASINGSTOKE Town manager Jason Bristow was full of praise for his patched-up side after they earned a battling 0-0 draw away at Tonbridge Angels on Saturday.
The Camrose club went into the match without four players, including goalkeeper Ashley Bayes and key midfielder Shaun McAuley, due to injury.
As a result, they were forced to field a makeshift side, with Chay Morris taking over between the posts, left-footed Matt Warner forced to play as right wing-back and Nathan Campbell asked to provide the link between midfield and attack.
The outcome was a slightly disjointed performance and an uninspiring game – but Town always seemed comfortable. Dangerous Tonbridge striker Frannie Collin was expertly marshalled by the visitors’ three-man defence, while it was Basingstoke who went closest to scoring when Tim Sills hit the post in the second half.
Bristow said: “The players come out of this with a lot of credit. It was a really workmanlike performance and the players who have come in have done extremely well.
“Ross Adams, Jay Gasson and Robert Rice were outstanding and deserved their clean sheet. “We were a bit unfortunate in that Tim Sills missed a headed chance you would expect him to put away in the first half and hit the post after the break. On another day that would have gone in or rebounded to one of our players.
“Tonbridge are not a bad side, certainly one capable of finishing in the top 10, so it was a good point in the circumstances.”
The result leaves Town 13th in the formative Blue Square Bet South table – but they remain unbeaten and are only four points behind leaders Bath City with a game in hand.
Basingstoke are due to return to action tomorrow, with Truro City the scheduled visitors to the Camrose (kick-off 7.45pm). However, the Cornish club may be out of existence by then.
Financially stricken Truro are in the High Court today facing a winding up order brought against them by the taxman. They must find more than £15,000 to settle their debt or the club will fold.
Despite the problems off the field, Truro have made a decent start. They sit fifth and beat Boreham Wood 2-0 on Saturday.
Basingstoke will be without Bayes, Nathan Smart and Jide Ogunbote for tomorrow’s match, while McAuley is a major doubt.
See The Monday Gazette for a full report from Saturday’s trip to Tonbridge – and log on to basingstokegazette.co.uk/sport for live updates from the Camrose tomorrow night.