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Town comeback seals a perfect start
BASINGSTOKE Town manager Jason Bristow was delighted to see his side get their Blue Square Bet South season off to a flying start with a come-from-behind victory over Sutton United.
Visiting Sutton dominated the first half at the Camrose on Saturday and took a deserved lead through Craig Dundas on 38 minutes, only for debutant Jordace Holder-Spooner to equalise just before the break.
Bristow played his part at half-time, making the decision to switch formations from 3-5-2 to 4-4-2, and the change had a positive impact. Town were the better side in the second period and snatched all three points through Tim Sills to make the perfect start to the new season.
Bristow said: “It was great to see us come from behind and get three points. That is not something we have done a lot recently, even last season when we were going well.
“It was a really big performance that has got us off to a great start. The players stuck at it, responded to the change we made a half-time and in the end I think we were well worth the win.
“We were not up to standard in the first half but a lot of it was down to Sutton. They caused us problems and got crosses in too easily, while we gave too many free-kicks away.
“We reacted and changed to 4-4-2 and I do not remember them getting too many crosses in. We got tighter to them all over the pitch and created a bit more in possession as well.”
Basingstoke are back in action tomorrow night, when they travel to pre-season title favourites and Hampshire rivals Eastleigh (kick-off 7.45pm).
The big spending south Hampshire side did not enjoy such a good start to their campaign, losing 3-0 away at Boreham Wood on Saturday, and they will be desperate to bounce back with a win tomorrow.
“Eastleigh have begun the season as favourites and it will be a tough game,” Bristow admitted. “Possibly even more so now they have lost because they will be really fired up to come out and try to get the win.
“It is the perfect game for us in a lot of ways though. We do not have to worry about getting the lads up for it, we just have to prepare properly and recover.”
Bristow continues to miss midfielder Jide Ogunbote, who remains sidelined with a leg injury, but striker Delano Sam-Yorke is available after sitting out Saturday’s game through suspension. However, he may have to settle for a place on the substitutes’ bench as Holder-Spooner is the man in form.
See The Monday Gazette for a full report from Saturday’s game – and log on to basingstokegazette.co.uk/sport for live updates from Eastleigh tomorrow night.