BASINGSTOKE Town’s run of six games without a win came to an end at the Camrose yesterday, Liam Enver-Marum firing them to victory with two well-taken goals.
The striker has been an excellent addition to the squad since joining on non-contract terms last month, and his brace took his tally to six goals in six Town starts.
Enver-Marum was one of three changes to the Town side, replacing Manny Williams alongside Nicholas Bignall in attack. Goalkeeper Louis Wells missed out due to the injury he picked up at Eastleigh three days earlier, with youngster Joe McDonnell recalled from his loan spell at Hendon to play between the sticks, while Adam Green replaced the ill Andrew Jenkinson at left-back.
Weston-super-Mare went into the game having won the previous five games between the sides, but the game did not get off to a great start, with neither side showing much in the way of intensity.
Enver-Marum had an early chance from Nathan Smart’s low cross, but was unable to find a team-mate with his pull-back, while Chas Hemmings headed wide from Dayle Grubb’s centre at the other end.
Town grabbed the lead on 15 minutes. Midfielder Simon Dunn made the goal, showing excellent feet to beat two Weston players on halfway before making ground and threading the perfect ball through to Enver-Marum.
He took the ball around goalkeeper Luke Purnell and while the angle was tight, the striker slotted home calmly to open the scoring.
Weston immediately upped their game, Grubb forcing McDonnell into his first save of the afternoon, while Alec Fiddes fired wide from the edge of the area as the visitors continued to press.
McDonnell was forced to make another save just after the half-hour mark, keeping out Ashley Kington’s low strike from a free-kick, but Town were inches away from doubling their lead soon after.
Matt Partridge made ground before playing Louie Soares through, but Purnell got an important touch on his shot, pushing it onto the crossbar.
The half ended in a fairly frantic fashion. McDonnell did well to save with his legs when Diallo was put through, with Hemmings failing to find the unguarded net with the rebound, while Purnell made a decent save to keep out Bignall’s angled effort.
Seconds later, and the lead was doubled, Shaun McAuley firing home when the ball broke to him after a shot had been blocked, but the hosts only enjoyed a two-goal advantage for three minutes.
Fiddes was allowed to cut in from the right before firing a fine shot past McDonnell from the edge of the area in injury-time at the end of the half.
McDonnell was called into action again soon after half-time, getting down well to save from Kington as Weston made a strong start to the second period, penning the hosts back.
However, that was the only real chance they were able to create, and the hosts made them pay on 67 minutes, Enver-Marum making it 3-1.
A clearance was blocked and fell kindly for the striker, who had a clear run on goal and slotted the ball underneath Purnell.
Weston continued to press, with Diallo seeing his effort roll across the face of goal, but they reduced the deficit again on 76 minutes, Callum Laird forcing the ball home from close range following a free-kick.
That set up a nervy finale, but Enver-Marum could have spared the home fans’ fingernails, putting a free-header wide. As it was, Weston failed to test McDonnell again, Diallo firing their best chance wide from the edge of the area.
Town are back in action tomorrow night, hosting Concord Rangers in their final home game of the season.
Click here to see a post-match interview with Basingstoke Town manager Jason Bristow.
Basingstoke Town: McDonnell, Smart, Green, Partridge, Gasson, Matthews, Soares (sub Johnson-Schuster 90+1min), McAuley, Enver-Marum, Bignall (sub Williams 74min), Dunn (sub Ibe 82min). Subs (not used): Daly, Adams.
Weston-super-Mare: Purnell, C Laird, Slocombe (sub Llewellyn 74min), Trowbridge, J Laird, Knowles, Fiddes (sub Ash 78min), Diallo, Hemmings (sub Camper 65min), Kington, Grubb. Subs (not used): Walker, Irish.