ALEX Salmon has backed goalkeeper George Marsh to bounce back after an error allowed opposite number David Hughes to score in Basildon United’s 4-0 defeat to Aveley.

Marsh misjudged Hughes’ long kick forward and, with the assistance of a strong wind at Parkside, the Millers custodian opened the scoring from his own penalty area.

Second goal efforts from former Canvey Island frontman George Sykes, Jason Raad and Wyan Reid completed the scoring, but Salmon refused to criticise Marsh after the heavy loss.

The Bees boss said: “I have to praise George because it was a freak goal and it could have gone either way with him.

“He could have crumbled after conceding that goal or put it behind him and he was superb in the second half.

“The first goal overshadowed George’s performance because the scoreline could have been even more damaging from our point of view it wasn’t for him.

“I was really pleased with his professionalism because he put the freak goal behind him and got on with the task at hand.

“There is no doubting that George is a top goalkeeper and he will be absolutely fine. He won’t let it affect him.”

Marsh played a key role as Hullbridge Sports won promotion to the fourth tier of non-league football for the first time in the club’s history by sealing the Essex Senior League title last season.

The goalkeeper then started the current campaign between the sticks for Witham Town and has now made four Isthmian North appearances since joining Basildon in January.

Despite pulling off a number of stunning saves against promotion chasers Aveley, Marsh could not stop the Bees falling to a heavy defeat at Parkside.

As a result, Basildon remain second-from-bottom in the standings and are now just two points clear of bottom side Romford, who have a game in hand.

And Salmon was disappointed with his side’s display.

“It was a really poor performance from us and, if I’m honest, it was a bad day at the office,” added Salmon, who took charge in January.

“We knew there would be one or two bumpy performances along the way, but it was not good enough.

“Aveley play through the lines and they got at us. It just shows we have got to be focused and at it all the time because too many players were not at their best.”