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Defensive horrorshow hurts Bayes
BASINGSTOKE Town captain Ashley Bayes admits that he and his teammates let manager Jason Bristow down at Weston-super-Mare on Saturday.
Nothing went right for the Dragons as poor defending gifted the hosts a three-goal lead in the first 20 minutes, with Weston going on to win the game 5-2.
The result leaves Town, who reached the Blue Square Bet South play-offs last season, languishing in the relegation zone after losing five of their last seven league games.
Experienced goalkeeper Bayes, pictured right, says things must improve quickly and admits that the players owe Bristow, the club and the supporters a big performance at home to Dover on Saturday.
“Saturday was not good enough,” he admitted. “It was disappointing because we did not show what we are all about.
“It’s frustrating because we are much better than that but we cannot dwell on it. This is a test of character we have to come through.
“It’s also a test for Jason Bristow as a young manager but he is doing brilliantly. The way we are playing does not epitomise what he is about because he is a winner and really passionate.
“He prepares us so well and we let him and the club down badly against Weston. We want to put it right and there is no better time than this weekend against Dover.
“They are one of the favourites and I cannot wait to take them on. We’ve got to get in their faces from the off and put them under pressure. We’ll be looking to make a good start, play at a high tempo and get the win.”
Town’s main problem is their inability to keep a clean sheet, something they have managed just once so far this season.
Bayes said: “In training the spirit and togetherness is there but for whatever reason, we are giving silly goals away. We cannot buy a clean sheet at the moment, which isn’t pleasing me.
“It’s difficult to put your finger on what is going wrong but it’s important that we stay positive and focussed.
“As good as it was last year, this is the other side of the game and it’s about the character of the players and staff. We are under-achieving at the moment and it is up to everyone to look at themselves and demand more.
“I have been in this situation many times before. We just need one result to give us a bit of confidence and we will kick on.”
He may be disappointed by the number of goals he is conceding but Bayes has been one of Town’s most consistent performers this season, showing no signs that he is losing his hunger for the game.
“I’m really enjoying it but I would not mind having a quiet afternoon every now and then,” he said. “I’m 41 soon but I feel great.
“While my body is right and I’m enjoying training, I’ll keep playing. Basingstoke is the right club at the right time for me and I want to keep going as long as I can.”
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