By Nick Wilson
Basingstoke recorded back to back league wins for the second time this season with a tough victory over St. Neots Town.
It was a game of two halves, Basingstoke on top for much of the first, playing the better football and creating plenty of chances. The first of these chances fell to Nana Owusu. A corner was played out to him in space on the edge of the box and his first time effort curled just over the crossbar. It was a scrappy start to the game and Basingstoke were almost caught out as St. Neots broke, ignoring the appeals of the home side to the referee and Alex Tokarczyk was forced into an excellent save by Sam Mulready.
Basingstoke kept trying to play their football though and following a succession of corners, took the lead. It was the man in form, Romone Rose, who scored his fifth goal in five games. Sam Deadfield’s ball in was half cleared and Rose struck, on the turn and through a crowd of bodies, into the bottom corner to draw first blood on 34 minutes. As in previous games, the goal spurred Basingstoke on. Substitute Aaron Jarvis twice went close to doubling the lead and Deadfield dragged a shot just wide of the post as half time approached.
Half Time: 1-0
The second half brought a different challenge for the hosts as St. Neots brought on James Hall for Sam Mulready and he made a big difference, threatening the Basingstoke back line and getting on the ball much more than Mulready had. St. Neots looked dangerous from set pieces and Basingstoke were forced to defend stoutly against a number of corners and free kicks.
At the other end though Basingstoke had chances too. Richie Whittingham went close with a free kick of his own and Joe Gater and Rose both went close as well. St. Neots had the upper hand though and Michael Atkinson was brought on to help shore up the midfield. As Basingstoke were pushed back it was his brother Rob who came up with a vital block, bravely throwing his body in the way when Andre Williams looked certain to score from close range. That was the final scare though as Basingstoke held on for their fifth victory of the season.
Full Time: 1-0