BASINGSTOKE Town moved up to tenth in the Southern League Premier Division after beating visiting St Neots 1-0.

The only goal of the game came in the dying minutes of the first half and was scored by Sam Smart.

Manager Terry Brown admitted it was ugly but was pleased with the win and said: “We have played really well in games and lost, but today we were not at our best and won the game.

“I felt a bit sorry for their manager at half-time as we scored with the only chance we had, but that has happened to us enough times, where we have had three or four chances missed the lot and they have scored with just one chance.”

Brown was forced to make two changes to the side which drew at Slough, with Shane Hollamby and Sam Smart replacing Dan Bayliss and Charlie Kennedy.

Bayliss suffered a knock to his ankle at Slough, while Kennedy had started a new job as a roofer which had taken its toll on his legs.

After an early shot from Smart, the visitor’s forced a number of corners and from one of these a great strike from 30 yards out from St Neots’ striker Luke Knight, saw a fine save from Colm McAdden, as he tipped it over the bar.

The home side were finding it hard to carve out any chances, but Smart did volley wide from a Jack McKnight knock down.

Just when it looked like the first-half would end 0-0, the Dragons produced a great move and scored.

Michael Atkinson sent a lovely cross field ball to Sam Argent on the right and he was able to use the overlapping run of Tim Wohlfiel.

The defender made ground down the right and sent in a low cross, which Smart slotted into the net after 43 minutes.

The opening minutes of the second half saw more action than the whole of the first.

St Neots mounted a nice attack, but then were hit on the break, with Argent just going wide.

Soon after, the lively Stefan Brocolli sliced his way into the box and his cross glanced back off the crossbar.

Then on 52 minutes Town thought they should have been awarded a penalty, when Argent was taken out late by Johnny Herd as he went to shoot, After the game, Town boss Brown said: “I felt it was a stonewall penalty, but the ref had a good game and his decisions had no effect on the result.”

The visitors then tried to gift Town a second goal, as Liam McDevitt’s header left his goalkeeper throwing himself at the ball to stop it ending up in the net.

As the half wore on St Neots tried to look for an equaliser, but the introduction of Kennedy and Bayliss from the bench made the home side hard to break down, and they comfortably saw out the game winning it 1-0.

Next up for the Dragons is a visit from league leaders Hereford on Saturday, a game Town’s young guns will be looking forward to, as they hope to extend their unbeaten run to five games.