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Town look to build on Hampshire Cup success
BASINGSTOKE Town manager Jason Bristow admitted his side made life difficult for themselves as they progressed to the third round of the Hampshire Senior Cup in a seven-goal thriller on Tuesday night.
The Camrose club came out on the right side of the scoreline at fellow Blue Square Bet South side Farnborough.
Shaun McAuley scored twice for the visitors, while Chris Paterson and Jordace Holder-Spooner also found the net in a 4-3 victory for Town.
Basingstoke led by at least two goals for most of the match and should have won more comfortably. They failed to make the most of some excellent chances to increase their advantage, and some sloppy defending allowed Farnborough to set up a tense finish.
Bristow said: “We made it hard for ourselves. If we had approached the game properly, it would have been comfortable but we let in some poor goals and it ended up being tighter than it should have been.
“The main thing is that we are through. We also got some minutes into players who needed a game, and were able to rest others struggling with little niggles.”
After two cup games in the space of four days, Basingstoke return to league action on Saturday, when another Hampshire club, Havant and Waterlooville, will be the visitors (kick-off 3pm).
It has been a difficult start to the season for Havant, who sit 21st in the table with just 10 points from 11 games. They are yet to taste victory away from home and have failed to win any of their last six games.
Their poor start led to manager Stuart Ritchie losing his job last month, with a replacement expected to be named in the coming days.
Despite all of this, Havant boast some good players, especially in attacking areas. Christian Nanetti is one of the best wingers in the division, while striker Ollie Palmer has scored seven goals this term and was being looked at by several professional clubs at the end of last season.
Bristow said: “It’s going to be tough. They need the points and I expect them to have a new manager by the weekend, who they will be looking to impress.
“They are a good side and they have spent a bit of money, but at the end of the day it is about us. If we turn up, perform like we know we can and take our chances then we should get three points.
“We are looking forward to Saturday and want to get the win. We have won and drawn our last two league games so hopefully we are starting to pick up, and it would be good if we could carry on our performance level from last Saturday at Dorchester.”
Town’s injury crisis seems to be abating slightly, with Ross Adams (knee) and Stuart Lake (broken toe) the only players expected to miss the visit of Havant.
Wes Daly, Ashley Bayes, Jay Gasson, Tim Sills, Robert Rice and Matt Warner were all rested on Tuesday, while Shaun McAuley continued his recovery from a toe problem by playing 77 minutes.
The game also saw Jide Ogunbote make his long-awaited return following a leg injury, with the midfielder coming on to play the final 13 minutes.
“It was great to see him back but he needs to get a lot of games under his belt and that is something we need to sit down and talk to Jide about,” Bristow said. “When we do get him fully fit it will be like having a new player.”
See Thursday's Gazette for a full report from Tuesday’s Hampshire Cup tie – and log on to basingstokegazette.co.uk/sport for live updates from the Camrose on Saturday.