Basingstoke Town 2 Aylesbury United 0

TOWN moved back into an automatic promotion spot to next season's Conference South.

They beat bottom team Aylesbury on Saturday, while their nearest rivals Maidenhead lost 2-1 to Kettering.

Goals from Sergio Torres and Craig McAllister clinched the Town victory, only their seventh at home in the Ryman League this season.

Delighted manager Ernie Howe said: "This is an im-portant win for us as it moves us back into the top 13, which is where we want to be.

"After the disappointment of losing against Hitchin here last week, it was good to see us take all three points today.

"It was difficult out there and at 1-0 you are always aware that something can happen. But once we scored the second goal, the game was over."

The first half saw Town dominate, by having much more of the possession, but they had only one goal to show for it at the break.

That arrived on eight minutes as McAllister beat the offside trap and his cross was scrambled home by the impressive Torres.

Later in the half, Cristian Levis and Neville Stamp each had chances but their shots went just wide. On 36 minutes, McAllister beat the offside trap again but his shot was pushed away by Aylesbury goalkeeper Jack Rashid.

The final chance of the half saw Stephen Hughes drill a low ball into the box which was well held by Rashid, as Levis tried to touch home.

At the break Town were forced to make a change as Torres was forced out of the contest with a groin injury to be replaced by Alex Ewin.

Town could have been 2-0 up after only three minutes of the second half but Neville Stamp's corner was headed wide by Levis. Soon after, a Nathan Stamp throw-in saw McAllister turn and lose his marker but his shot was beaten out by Rashid.

Just after the hour, the home side twice had promising moves stopped by visiting defenders.

First, Hughes found Levis but the foot of Daniel Meade stopped him getting in his shot.

Then it was the turn of Daniel Gordon to stop McAllister having a run at goal.

Town were not to be denied a second goal and, when Ewin lobbed the back line, McAllister latched on to the ball and smashed it past a helpless Rashid.

Aylesbury tried to get back in the contest but Jason Bristow, who had a solid game at the back and goalkeeper Mark Zawadski, on his home debut, dealt with everything the visitors threw at them.

The victory means that the dream of Conference South football is back in Town hands. They have a trip to Kingstonian on Saturday and a week later finish their season at the Camrose against Sutton.

Basingstoke Town: Mark Zawadski, Nathan Stamp, Neville Stamp, David Ray, Jason Bristow, Ricky Allaway, Sergio Torres (sub Alex Ewin 46min), Stephen Hughes, Craig McAllister, Cristian Levis (sub Jon Dyer 86min), German De La Vega. Subs (not used): Michael Watkins, Ollie Burgess, Ian Dickens.