BASINGSTOKE Town enjoyed a well deserved 2-1 victory over visiting Mangotsfield on Saturday afternoon, which moved them out of the Southern League Division One relegation zone.

Town manager Dan Brownlie gave a start to the returning Simon Dunn and recent signing George Hallahan, while Scott Armsworth came back from injury.

The Dragons were quickly out of the blocks and dominated this game for long periods.

They forced a corner in the opening 90 seconds and in the eighth minute Dunn fired just wide.

Soon after, Brad Wilson latched onto a long ball over the top and managed to lob the visiting goalkeeper, but his effort landed on the roof of the net.

Mangotsfield’s Daniel McBeam then forced the first save out of Aaron Watkins in a rare attack, with a very tame shot on target.

Town replied as Ben Cook and Dunn combined to set-up Hallahan, but his shot was well saved by Marko Badovanovic down low.

With two minutes left in the half, Badovanovic made an even better stop to keep out another Hallahan effort after Cook had held off a couple of players to feed the ball to him.

Town finally got their reward on the stroke of half-time, as great work from Wilson, saw him pull the ball back for Dunn to score on his return to the Dragons.

After the break, the visitors now had the wind advantage, but it was the home side who had the first chance from Hallahan as he wriggled away from Josiah Dunstan and fired just wide.

Town then doubled their lead on 52 minutes, as a great low cross from Hallahan was met by Wilson to make it 2-0.

At this point the visitors started to go for broke and Watkins was called into action to push away the shot at the near post by Josh Bennett.

On the hour mark, D’Andre Brown replaced Dunn, who was given a rousing round of applause as he left the pitch.

Ten minutes later, Brown nearly made it 3-0, but his low shot was well saved.

A minute later and Town came even closer to scoring as Hallahan was found by Cook and the striker beat the goalkeeper, but his shot hit the far post.

The home side rued the miss even more on 79 minutes, when a great top corner strike from sub Samuel Larkins made it 2-1.

This set-up a nervous finish, but Mangotsfield were unable to carve out another really good scoring opportunity.

Instead it was the home side who went closest with Brown’s shot from a tight angle being tipped over by the visiting goalkeeper.

After the game a delighted Town manager Dan Brownlie said: “This was one of our best performances of the season.

“I was really pleased with the way we started, and I felt we dominated most of the game.”

“I really hope this is the springboard for us to go on a good run now.”

Next for Basingstoke Town this Saturday is an away trip at Melksham