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Bristow salutes unbeaten Basingstoke Town
BASINGSTOKE Town are the only Blue Square Bet South side yet to taste defeat this season – a record they will be looking to defend when bottom-of-the-table AFC Hornchurch visit the Camrose this weekend.
A dramatic 3-2 win over visiting Truro City saw Jason Bristow ’s team extend their unbeaten start to the season to five games, despite an ever-increasing injury list.
Town went into Tuesday night’s game without five players including goalkeeper Ashley Bayes, influential midfielder Shaun McAuley and striker Tim Sills. It got even worse in the warm-up as Jordace Holder-Spooner went down with a hamstring injury, but Basingstoke still made a fine start to the match, two Delano Sam-Yorke goals in the opening 10 minutes setting them on their way.
However, Sam-Yorke was then forced from the field with a hamstring problem and Truro pulled a goal back, only for Wes Daly to restore Basingstoke’s two-goal cushion before half-time. The tide turned once more as Stuart Lake was harshly sent off 29 minutes from time. Truro scored a second goal soon after and Town were forced to hold on in the closing minutes.
After seeing Hayes and Yeading come from two goals down to grab a point at the Camrose a week earlier, Bristow admitted that it was important his side claimed victory against Truro.
“We needed a win and it was important that we held out, especially for the players because they deserved three points,” he said. “Even against Hayes, we had that spirit and everyone wanted to play for each other. Again tonight, people were throwing themselves in front of the ball and putting their bodies on the line, so it was good to see them get something back.
“It was the best start we have made to a game this season but as it went on, there were a lot of twists and turns. To get the win shows what we are all about.”
The match should be remembered for Basingstoke’s battling victory but it was the officials who stole the show with a terrible display.
Stefan Brown was clearly offside in the build-up to Town’s third goal, while referee David Rock dished out a total of nine yellow cards in a far from a dirty game.
Controversy also surrounded Truro’s second goal. Wes Daly seemed to be fouled in the build-up, while the goal was actually scored with Ross Adams down after suffering a head injury.
Bristow said: “I thought the referee was very poor with some of the decisions that he gave. With Truro’s second goal, it is down to the referee to stop the game for a head injury and he should have done that.
“Stuart Lake was unlucky to be sent off. I felt that his first yellow card was soft, while the second was just as harsh.” The victory leaves Basingstoke eighth in the Blue Square Bet South table, four points behind the leaders but with a game in hand.
Next up, on Saturday (kick-off 3pm), is a home game against newly-promoted Hornchurch, who are yet to win this season. Bristow has moved to sign Academy products Alex Charlick and Kieran Maylan to give him extra options and is hoping that Sills will recover from a neck injury in time to play. However, Bayes, McAuley, Sam-Yorke and Holder-Spooner remain doubtful, while Jide Ogunbote and Nathan Smart will certainly miss out.
“The fact that we have lost key players to injury but remain unbeaten shows we have good spirit in the squad,” Bristow said. “We have had a solid start and will go into Saturday and try to get maximum points.”
See Thursday's Gazette for a full report from the Truro game – and log on to basingstokegazette.co.uk for live updates on Saturday.