SATURDAY afternoon proved to be a tale of penalties, two that were not given for Basingstoke Town and one soft one which was for the Met Police as the game ended 2-2.

The home side gave a debut to new signing Chris Rackley from Thatcham in goal for Tom McGill on England under-19 duty.

Elsewhere in the standing line-up, Sam Deadfield came in for the injured Sam Argent.

Town also had new young forwards Terrance Saydee from Reading and Yvan Jourdan on the bench.

The game had a lively start as the Met Police’s Jack Mazzone fired just inches wide after just 32 seconds.

Town’s Sam Smart then threatened in the opposing penalty area, only for the Blues Oliver Knight to force a corner all within the first 90 seconds.

On nine minutes, the home side had their first appeal for a penalty turned down as Dan Bayliss was knocked over in the box, following a corner.

Met Police then took the lead on 11 minutes, as Louis Birch’s shot from the edge of the area, took a wicked deflection off Michael Atkinson and looped over a helpless Rackley.

The home side went looking for an equaliser and Zidane Akers’ deflected effort was saved at the near post.

On 33 minutes, Town levelled things after Ben Wright’s superb free-kick from 25-yards out, came back off the foot of the post and Bayliss smashed the rebound into an empty net.

Soon after, another free-kick saw Harry Pease’s low drive well held at near post by visiting goalkeeper Berti Schotteri.

A minute after the interval, a great ball from Pease found Akers and he forced a corner, from which Jack Wakeley’s shot was blocked.

Soon after, Smart was fouled in the penalty area by Knight, but to the amazement of most in the ground, no penalty was awarded.

Just after the hour mark, a great block by Nesta Guinness-Walker denied Sam Deadfield as he pulled the trigger on a goal bound shot.

Then on 68 minutes, most in the ground were left stunned as the Met Police were awarded a penalty.

This was after what looked like a fair tackle by Deadfield on Ethan Chislett.

Mazzone made no mistake from the spot as he sent Rackley the wrong way.

Once again the home side came looking for an equaliser and it arrived five minutes from time.

A lovely ball over the top of a static defence by Pearse saw Ben Wright slot into the far corner.

The visitors then so nearly nicked the win, but a great save by the knees of Rackley denied Mazzone a minute from time.

Then in added on time Town had a great break from a corner as sub Jourdan, who looked very lively, linked up with Deadfield and Smart had a shot from the byline.

After the game a bemused Basingstoke boss Martin Kuhl said: “I think we should have had a couple of penalties today and then we concede one when Sam (Deadfield) has played the ball.

“The ref has said to me ‘He played the ball and then took the man’, but I did not see it that way and he did not even talk to his assistant, who was on that side of the pitch.”

Kuhl added: “I could not fault the attitude of the players today, as I asked for a response after the loss at Dorchester.

“I felt our centre halves Jack (Wakeley) and Dan (Bayliss) did really well against their front two, as did Michael (Atkinson) playing in the holding role in front of them.”

The point against Met Police means Town remain 18th in the table on goal difference above Walton Casuals, with both sides on 42 points.

This puts the pair two points clear of Gosport Borough, who currently occupy 20th and the final relegation place.

Next for Town is a trip to Wimborne in the league on Saturday.