JASON Bristow felt his Basingstoke Town side deserved more than they got for their battling performance against high-flying Chelmsford City.

Despite the defeat, it was a strong performance from the hosts, who certainly tested second-placed Chelmsford.

Bristow said: “We nowhere near deserved to lose. The players showed a lot of spirit, worked their socks off and we are distraught to have lost the game.

“We were the better side throughout the game. Chelmsford are a good side and had a couple of minutes where they looked dangerous but over the course of the game we were the better team.

“Ashley Bayes in our goal has not had much to do, while Stuart Searle in theirs has had plenty – but we conceded a poor goal just after half-time and they got a bit of a lucky goal late on.”

The main talking point in the game came just before the hour, when both sides were reduced to 10 men.

Bristow said: “From where I was it looked like the two players tangled and in trying to get away, something happened. It’s a key moment because Delano Sam-Yorke was terrorising them and causing problems in behind.”

Saturday’s defeat means that Town have now gone seven games without a win in all competitions, while they have won just one of their last 11 league outings. They sit 21st in the table, with only stricken Truro City below them, while the gap to the play-off places is now nine points.

“We are where we are and need to climb the table before we start thinking about anything else,” Bristow added. “The last two performances have shown that the spirit is there and the players are working hard in training to turn things around.”

Town now have three weeks before their next league game – and Bristow says he will use the enforced break wisely.

“That is the end of the first part of our season and we have three weeks of a mini pre-season now,” the Town boss said. “Our season will start again on December 8. We need to make it count and have a good December.”