Biggleswade Town moved back into the Southern League play-off zone with a late strike against derby rivals St Neots on Tuesday.
However they were pushed all the way by the Saints who were fielding a youthful side – five players making their debut – as budget cutbacks had seen a number of first team regulars leave the club.
Former St Neots player Dylan Williams had the first effort for Waders but could only find the side-netting. St Neots replied with a Joe Rider effort.
Joe White had the chance to open the scoring but he volleyed well wide. The best first half chance fell to Matt Ball on the half hour as his shot was turned over the bar.
Jordan Gent rose to head from a corner only to see the ball rebound off the crossbar.
A smart move early in the second half saw Ball and White combine to set up Williams, but he volleyed over the bar.
Matt Miles joined the St Neots attack to short narrowly over the crossbar and for a spell the visitors took the initiative. However the home side reasserted their authority. Gent carved out an opportunity but his effort flew wide.
The goal came eight minutes from time when, from a corner, substitute Johnny McNamara forced the ball home from close range.
Waders visit title hopefuls Stourbridge on Saturday.