GLENN Howes has explained the absence of a recognised striker during Dorchester Town’s 2-1 loss at Yate Town on Saturday.

Howes was forced to field winger-turned-forward Sam Bayston up top and the former Wimborne hotshot again delivered for his manager, netting a seventh goal of the season.

While Bayston has stroked in the goals to become leading scorer this season, Dorchester were without several attacking options.

Kieran Roberts had not sufficiently recovered from a rib injury and Alfie Stanley was struck down with a non-Covid-19 illness.

It meant a first-team debut later in the game for under-23 talent Ashley Guppy.

Speaking to Echosport, Howes clarified his team selection: “That was enforced. Poor old Alfie was struggling in the afternoon.

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“We had to have a look at our more offensive type of players and think who could affect the game in a positive manner.

“Sam did that and fully deserved his goal. He was full of running, playing on the shoulder of the centre-halves and playing higher than he usually does.

“Sam has tried to look after himself. He’s been ill, he’s rolled his ankle a couple of times.

“He just needs a run of games now. It does penalise you when you haven’t got a recognised number nine and particularly in moments the games are changing.

“Bayst hasn’t played a huge amount of football. He tired, we knew he’d fatigue so Ashley’s come on, put pressure on the centre-halves, put himself about and looked extremely lively.”

On using the under-23s, Howes added: “It’s difficult moments in difficult times that we’re using the young players.

“I wasn’t prepared to do it against Poole because of the way the game changed, it wouldn’t have been fair on them.

“However, (at Yate), they could still affect it and we thought: ‘One of these young lads can make a difference’.

“There are two or three of them that are training regularly and they’re doing really well.

“The next step for them now is to go and have a taste of it, see if they can embed themselves into the first-team environment.”