Backing Bants

JASON Banton was handed a rare start in Argyle’s 0-0 draw against Southend United, and his manager praised the midfielder’s lively performance.

Thanks to Bristol City recalling Bobby Reid during the week, John had to find a player to fill in the important role on the pitch that Bobby took on.

The boss turned to Banton, who had not been named in a starting XI since the Greens’ FA Cup second round tie with Sheffield United, as Sheridan looked to play a more enterprising midfield setup than usual.

“I went more attacking, and thought he could give them a problem, just playing in the hole,” said John.

“He is not one who is going to run around and tackle and win the ball, but we know what he is all about. He can cause problems when he has the ball at his feet, and when he is on his game he is as good as anyone.

Indeed, Banton made himself extremely difficult for Southend defenders to pick up, dropping into clever positions and linking up often with strikers Reuben Reid and Lewis Alessandra, as well as wing backs Andy Kellett and Kelvin Mellor. 

Sheridan continued: “I went a bit more attacking and threw Jason in, and I think we caused them problems on the break, especially in the first half.

“He has been out of the side for a while now, so it is always difficult when you first come in, getting back to first-team football in a match situation, so I am pleased with the way he went about it.”