BASINGSTOKE Town’s new manager Dan Brownlie suffered his first defeat in seven games since taking charge, as the Dragons lost 1-0 at Melksham in the first qualifying round of the FA Trophy.

Basingstoke had been looking for a quick double over their Wiltshire rivals, after a home league victory over the same opponents last Saturday.

Visiting Town made two changes to the side which won last week with forward Zac Robinson returning from illness and midfielder Aaron Kuhl back from injury.

However, Reece Rusher, Ben Wright, Rueben Collins and D’Andre Brown were all ruled out due to various injuries.

Meanwhile, the home side made five changes to their starting line-up from the previous week.

In a game played in really tough conditions due to the wind and heavy rain, the visitors had the first chance, with the tricky Riccardo Ardrady denied by an excellent save from Jamie Bartlett in the third minute.

Soon after, the home side felt they should have a had a penalty for hand ball in the box, but their appeals were waved away.

The home side then did have the ball in the net on 17 minutes, but this was ruled out as being offside.

Soon after, Town’s Claude Herbert’s blast from distance went just over the bar.

What turned out to be the winning goal came five minutes before the break, thanks to a great strike from Luke Ballinger.

The visitors then went close from Dean Stow, but it stayed 1-0 at the interval.

The home side started the second half the better with Jack Ball and Liam Monelle looking very dangerous.

As the half wore on the Dragons pushed more for an equaliser especially when sub Mikey Davis was introduced.

The striker forced Melksham goalkeeper Bartlett into a great reflex save after Alfie Saunders and Andrady had combined.

With five minutes left, Robinson was denied after a goal mouth scramble as Town piled on the pressure.

Then in the 89th minute, Davis’ shot was blocked by the hand of a defender, but once again the appeals were ignored by the referee.

It left Melksham to see out the five minutes of added on time and gain revenge for last week’s league defeat, as they earned a place in tomorrow’s draw.

Town are next in action at high-flyers Paulton Rovers on Saturday.

The game has the earlier kick-off time of 12.30pm, as there is a firework display at the club in the evening.