Ebbsfleet United failed to score for a third consecutive game as they suffered a 1-0 away to Basingstoke Town on Saturday.

Shaun McAuley’s first half 35-yard free-kick proved to be the difference between the two sides, although the Fleet’s Billy Bricknell hit the crossbar twice.

Steve Brown made three changes from the side that drew 0-0 with Wealdstone, as Michael Corcoran, Charlie Sheringham and Alex Osborne were replaced by Tom Fraser, Matt Johnson and Bricknell.

Home manager Jason Bristow fielded a 4-3-3 formation which featured the attacking talents of former-Fleet players Louie Soares and Liam Enver-Marum.

Both sides made positive starts to the game, with Bricknell coming closest to opening the scoring as he headed Anthony Cook’s cross onto the bar.

The hosts took the lead in the 23rd minute.

McAuley curled a long-range free-kick into the top corner, although keeper Preston Edwards may have been disappointed to have been beaten at his near post.

This knocked the stuffing out of Ebbsfleet and Basingstoke began to have the better of the play, with Enver-Marum shooting just wide.

However, the Fleet could have been level just before half-time if it were not for home goalkeeper Stuart Moore’s acrobatic save to tip over a Johnson shot that had looped up off the ground.

Ebbsfleet started the second-half with much more intent, and they should have had a penalty when captain Daryl McMahon was clearly tripped inside the box, although the referee awarded a free-kick instead.

Bricknell again hit the bar on 71 minutes from 12-yards out before McMahon fired over.

Moore was then forced to save well from Cook and Johnson, but Basingstoke held firm to claim three points to continue their good start to the season.

Fleet are at home to St Albans City on Saturday (3pm).

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Ebbsfleet: Edwards, Sessegnon (Huke 63), Howe, Acheampong, Clark, Johnson, McMahon, Fraser (Sheringham 77), Cook, Bricknell, Godden. Subs not used: Hall, Rance, Osborn. Att: 506.