A Gary Wharton strike just after the hour earned a valuable 1-0 victory against Barwell in a Southern League Premier Division Central clash at the Premier Plus Stadium. Saints closed to within one point of safety by beating a side who had dumped them out of the FA Trophy and thumped them 6-1 in the reverse league fixture. It was a triumph which came complete with a debut clean sheet for new goalkeeping recruit James Philp after previous number one Finley Iron was recalled by his parent club Cambridge United. He made two smart early saves before a goal-line clearance from Ryan Hughes kept Saints on level terms before they were rescued by the woodwork either side of half-time. But it was Saints who made the only breakthrough when Wharton was released by substitute Jacob Joseph, who had only been on the pitch for a minute, to finish. St Ives Town claimed a first win in seven Southern League Premier Division Central games yesterday. Ricky Marheinekes men won 2-1 at Banbury thanks to classy individual goals from Andrew Osei-Bonsu and Ben Seymour-Shove in the first half. Saints, who handed a debut to defensive recruit Gavin Hoyte, saw their lead halved just before the hour, but they held on for three points and inflicted Banburys first home defeat since October in the process. Godmanchester Rovers hopes of being crowned Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division champions are fading fast. The local side dropped to third place in the standings after being beaten 5-3 at FC Clacton yesterday a performance boss Ollie Drake described as the poorest of his two seasons in charge. Rovers found themselves 3-0 down at the break before responding in the second half as goals from Jack Chandler, Buster Harradine and Austen Diaper clawed them back into contention at 4-3 down. But defender Joe Walker was then sent off and the hosts struck a clincher late on. Huntingdon Town claimed an important victory in their battle for United Counties League Division One survival. Jimmy Brattans side beat Thrapston who dropped to the bottom of the table as a result 4-1 at Jubilee Park. Captain Corey Kingston (2), Adam Richardson and Ben Keating hit the Town goals. Eynesbury Rovers were beaten 3-2 at Harborough Town in the Premier Division despite goals from Jordan Brown and James Ducket.