DORCHESTER Town were cruelly denied a priceless point at the Camrose Stadium by Liam Enver-Marum’s injury-time strike.
The centre-forward, making his Basingstoke debut, worked an opening before firing past Alan Walker-Harris in the 93rd minute to break Dorchester hearts.
Enver-Marum had given the home side the lead on the half hour, but Charlie Losasso levelled for Dorchester on 78 minutes with a superb strike which found the top corner.
A rearguard action from the Magpies appeared to have earned them a draw, however, after Enver-Marum had seen an appeal for a penalty waved away, he popped up at the death to win it for his new club.
The sides hadn’t won in 12 games between them going into Saturday’s contest, with Basingstoke not scoring for 342 minutes and the Magpies having been stuffed 6-0 at Eastleigh a few days before.
Mark Jermyn was a big miss for Dorchester on that occasion, but the skipper was back from his pulled hamstring sooner than expected to line up against the Dragons in Hampshire.
On the downside, the visitors were without Jamie Gleeson and Warren Byerley through injury, and Nick Crittenden due to suspension, so Clive Makoni started up front, Dan Way dropped to the bench, Jermyn slotted into midfield and they went with three at the back.
The first meaningful chance of the afternoon fell to the Magpies. Losasso met a cross from the right with his head and forced a full-length diving save by Louis Wells. The keeper also got up to smother Elliott Chamberlain’s follow-up effort.
Basingstoke then began to dominate and Enver-Marum started to make his presence felt, while strike partner Nicholas Bignall also caused problems for the visitors.
Alan Walker-Harris denied Bignall and Nathan Smart before the former nodded the ball down for Enver-Marum to volley home from 10 yards.
Other than a couple of half-chances for Louis Soares and Smart, the score remained at 1-0 going into the interval.
Dorchester could ill afford conceding a second goal quickly after the restart, though Enver-Marum did his best to double Basingstoke’s advantage.
Picking the ball up 25 yards from goal, he skipped around a few challenges and hit a curling shot that went wide of the far post.
Just after the hour, Makoni, who had a quiet match and was booked seconds earlier, was part of a double change made by Simkin.
He and Lanahan were replaced by Dan Munday and Way, with the hosts swapping Bignall for Andrew Jenkinson moments later.
A Magpies’ equaliser nearly arrived on 65 minutes when Chamberlain let fly from the edge of the area and a wicked deflection almost caught out Wells who clawed the ball away for a corner.
A foul by Jermyn saw him receive a caution then, with 15 minutes to go, Jack Twyford came on for Ryan Case.
Three minutes later the game was tied up at 1-1. The hosts gave Losasso too much time and space on the edge of their own area and the youngster fired a brilliant shot into the top corner.
Enver-Marum thought he had earned his side a penalty when he appeared to be held back in the Dorchester box, though referee Adrian Quelch was having none of it.
The Magpies threw their bodies on the line as the Dragons continued to attack, Jake McCarthy blocking an effort from Wes Daly.
If any side was going to find a winner in time added on it looked like being the hosts.
But it seemed as if their chance had gone when Jenkinson’s attempt took a deflection, beat Walker-Harris but bobbled wide of the upright.
However, Enver-Marum further enamoured himself to the home fans with just over a minute left, cutting in from the left and just doing enough to beat Walker-Harris.
Basingstoke: Wells, Rice, Green, Smart, Gasson, Ray, Daly, McAuley, Enver-Marum, Bignall (Jenkinson 62), Soares. Subs not used: Adams, Holder-Spooner, Matthews, Barrett
Magpies: Walker-Harris, Case (Twyford 75), Smeeton, S Walker, N Walker, McCarthy, Jermyn, Lanahan (Way 61), Chamberlain, Makoni (Munday 61), Losasso. Subs not used: Smith, Murphy
Bookings: Basingstoke – None
Magpies – Makoni (foul, 61), Jermyn (foul, 67)
Referee: Adrian Quelch (Christchurch)