St Neots failed to escape the Southern League Premier Division relegation zone when suffering a sixth successive league defeat yesterday.

Peter Clark capped a fine performance with a late clincher for St Neots Town. Picture: CLAIRE HOWESPeter Clark capped a fine performance with a late clincher for St Neots Town. Picture: CLAIRE HOWES

Andy Davies’ men were beaten by a solitary goal, scored 10 minutes before the break, at Basingstoke.

Teenage debutant Andre Williams came closest to a leveller when seeing a shot cleared off the line after being sent on during the second half for his first taste of senior football.

Declan Rogers during St Neots Town's defeat at Basingstoke. Picture: CLAIRE HOWESDeclan Rogers during St Neots Town's defeat at Basingstoke. Picture: CLAIRE HOWES

Micky Hyem also flashed a shot just wide of a post as Saints applied the pressure without being able to break through.

Boss Davies said: “We were nowhere good enough in the first half and paid the price for it.

“We didn’t work hard, we didn’t press the ball, and we didn’t defend as we should.

“We were much better in the second half when we created good opportunities in the final third and I’m disappointed to come away with nothing.

“But we have to learn to be at it from the first whistle. We can’t allow teams in this league to get their noses in front.”

Saints withdrew recent striking signing Sam Mulready as a precaution at half-time after he complained of a tight hamstring. They also lost wideman Tom Spark and full-back Miles Smith to knocks in the second half.

Williams, who is a scholar at the club, was one of two debutants to feature for Saints. On loan left-back Sam Piesse, who has been borrowed from League One side Peterborough, played from the start.

Saints remain second-bottom Saints now face a basement battle at home to Cinderford this Saturday.