BY NICK WILSON
Basingstoke won for the first time in eight league attempts after two first half goals were enough to earn a comfortable victory away to relegation threatened Cambridge City.
Basingstoke had their chances early on, Aaron Redford found himself free at the far post but headed straight at Cambridge goalkeeper Enol Ordonez while Nana Owusu and Ashleigh Artwell fired crosses into the box. At the other end Cambridge threatened with some early corners.
The opener came after a quarter of an hour when Sam Deadfield’s deftly delivered free kick was headed home by David Ray past the onrushing Ordonez to give Basingstoke an early lead.
Basingstoke were on top after the goal, both Redford and Michael Atkinson had shots from range with the latter’s being tipped over by Ordonez.
Cambridge had a great chance to equalise on 37 minutes as Joe Gater’s back pass was left short and Tristan Abrahams raced through on goal. Alex Tokarczyk came out to make a brilliant save down to his right to keep Basingstoke in front.
Redford doubled the lead just before half time after great work from Michael Atkinson. The midfielder worked his way down the left hand side, holding off a couple of challenges from Ben Robinson before cutting back from the byline for Redford to finish from close range.
HALF TIME: 0-2
Basingstoke almost had the perfect start to the second as five minutes in, Redford escaped down the left hand side and squared to an unmarked Aaron Jarvis, only for Ordonez to palm the ball away from the lurking striker, denying him a goal.
Just a few minutes later Basingstoke had their hearts in their mouths as Ollie Snaith got the better of Artwell but Tokarczyk got down well to make an excellent double save and preserve the two goal cushion before Jordan Gent headed just wide.
Cambridge started to go for broke and sent a number of balls into the box but Basingstoke managed to hold firm and return home with all three points and their first clean sheet in twelve league matches.