BASINGSTOKE Town took a massive step towards Southern Premier League South safety, after an excellent 4-1 win over visiting Frome Town.

The Dragons gave a home debut to Reece Rusher, who was very impressive, until a groin injury forced him to be replaced after 66 minutes.

Elsewhere in the line-up captain Charlie Kennedy returned from injury and Adam Everiss from suspension.

Basingstoke started the better and Rusher had a cross palmed away by Rob Brown in the third minute.

Soon after, Deadfield rifled in a shot from a short corner and Ryan Bath was forced into a goal line clearance.

On 21 minutes, the home side took the lead, as a quickly taken free-kick from Dean Stow released Yvan Jourdan and the Frenchman fired through the legs of the on rushing Brown.

A rare Frome chance saw Joe McLoughlin fizz the ball into the near post, which Tom McGill saved.

Soon after, some lovely inter play saw Argent back heel the ball into the path of Rusher, but his effort went just wide.

Rusher then fed Argent and his curling effort also just missed the target.

In added on time at the end of the first half, a neat passing move saw Michael Atkinson put in Rusher and only a great block from Brown denied him.

Just three minutes after the break Rusher rattled the crossbar with a great strike and then straight afterwards disaster struck as Frome equalised through Bath.

A stunned Camrose could not believe it and moments later a Tom Mehew free-kick flew across the face of the Basingstoke goal.

However, the Dragons got back into their stride and just before the hour mark, they took the lead again from a penalty.

Dean Stow’s cross in from the right saw Connor Roberts handle the ball under pressure from Sam Deadfield.

Deadfield put the ball on the spot and drilled it down the centre of the goal as Brown dived to his right.

On 66 minutes, the home side should have had a third, after Jourdan robbed Roberts.

His shot was saved by the legs of the Frome goalkeeper and Argent was unable to dispatch the rebound.

The striker made amends three minutes later, as he got on the end of Everiss’ cross at the back post.

He then added a fourth for the Dragons, as this time he converted a cross from Jourdan.

This was after the Frenchman outpaced Roberts, having been released down the flank by a great ball from Jack Wakeley.

As the game ended, Frome had their best spell of the game with sub Riley Towler, their best player on the day, coming closest with a low strike that went just wide of the post.

After the game Basingstoke boss Martin Kuhl said: “I thought we started brightly, and we should have taken more of our chances in the first half and led by more than 1-0.

“At 1-1 I was thinking here we go again, but it ended up being a comfortable victory. We are not safe yet, but this was a big win.”

The victory moved Town up to 16th in the table and they are now four points clear of the drop zone, with just two games left to play.

Walton Casuals now occupy the final relegation place and entertain play-off chasing King’s Langley on Easter Monday, while Town have a Hampshire derby clash at Farnborough.