LONG-SUFFERING Aldershot Town fans will be praying for a different type of performance against local rivals Basingstoke tonight, following the half-hearted effort put in against Enfield at the Rec on Saturday.

Still, as Terry Brown ticks off his remaining games, the three points is all that matters in the title race and the 2-0 victory keeps the Shots six clear at the top of the table with a game to spare.

But with Canvey Island's 6-1 thrashing of league rivals St Albans, the pressure on Brown's side is definitely mounting, leaving the boss to reveal for the first time, that it is just a two-horse race for the title.

"Canvey have had a morale boosting win over their rivals that probably puts St Albans out the picture, it's down to the two big boys, we're in the driving seat and it's up to us to hold our nerve," he said.

The Shots failed to look lively and instead were perhaps keeping a little in the tank for their away game to jinx side Basingstoke — a side the Shots have never beaten in the league at the Camrose.

Brown was disappointed at the way the lads played: "Some of the boys can kid themselves in the dressing room that they've left a bit in the tank at Basingstoke but then I shall expect to see a bit in the tank at Basingstoke."

But the bare minimum was all that was required on Saturday as Enfield was hardly ever going to be a problem side, currently languishing second from bottom and with the highest total of conceded goals.

They were also the only side in the bottom half of the league that the Shots have to play, as their remaining eight games will prove to be an altogether tougher challenge.

"We're going to have to play a lot better than that at Basingstoke, a lot better at Kingstonian and a lot better at Canvey to come away with points, but we are capable of playing a lot better than that," said Brown.

The Shots opened the first half with a second-rate performance that was to remain consistent for the entire game, they had the chance to go ahead after nine minutes when Dean Hooper sent over a fantastic cross that Jason Chewins just failed to get on the end of.

Just a minute later and Roscoe D'Sane's cross was met by the head of Aaron McLean , in search of his first Shots goal, but his effort was aimed straight at Enfield keeper Mark Palmer.

Enfield, dogged by the early injury of Rob Gilman, replaced by former Luton Town veteran David Preece, remained on the back foot with the Shots carving out chances at will.

D'Sane's shot on 20 minutes went over the cross bar and six minutes later Chewins again struggled to get on the end of a cross by young winger Mark Hammond, making his first league start in the absence of the injured Nick Roddis.

But it wasn't all one-way traffic as Enfield, beaten 8-2 by Bedford Town just seven days previous and fighting for their lives in the relegation zone, had a few half chances with Stanley Mark-Dennis firing just wide and in-form Shots keeper Nikki Bull forced into palming out a shot from the lively Sean Carr.

But with the half time break imminent, the Shots got the goal the crowd craved for.

McLean latched onto a centre from strike partner D'Sane, only to be brought down by Aaron Barnett.

Referee Cooke pointed to the penalty spot and D'Sane stepped up to coolly slot home his sixth successful penalty of the season.

Then, almost immediately, and with several of the crowd already lining up for their half time cup of tea, the Shots all but clinched victory with a crucial second.

Hooper ran towards the by-line and as Hammond picked up the pass he crossed in for Paul Buckle to strike home with a fierce header on 45 minutes.

And in the dying seconds of the first half, the home side could have increased their lead further — Steve Perkins' left-footed effort into the area sparked a scramble which saw McLean and Hammond go close.

The second half continued in much the same vein, with the Shots enjoying the lion's share of possession.

This time, however, it was also to the growing disappointment and frustration of the 2,049 fans at the Rec, as the Shots failed to register a shot on target for the entire half.

McLean and Buckle shot wide with early efforts but nothing to trouble Palmer, and once again the Shots fans were left cross-fingered and eagerly awaiting the whistle to signify another crucial win.

Substitute Stafford Browne replaced the battered and bruised McLean in the 59th minute, but failed really to make any sort of impact in this, his 100th appearance for the club.

He did, however, force the best chance of the second half when racing through the defence only to scuff his final effort and go wide.

Boss Brown then introduced young winger Stuart Tanfield for his debut for the club, who made his mark immediately with a cross for Anthony Charles who shot way over the bar.

So, despite the Shots fans failing to witness their side playing to full capabilities, it was the perfect result nevertheless to satisfy the boss.

"It was a very disappointing second half, we didn't give the fans anything to cheer about, we just went through the motions and we've got into a habit of doing just enough."

"I suppose I should be delighted with a 2-0 win but I've just come away feeling a bit disappointed and as a missed opportunity to boost our morale and boost our goal difference," he muttered.

Brown is hoping to have Dominic Sterling and Roddis return for the big clash at Basingstoke tonight having both missed Saturday's game with hamstring injuries.

Lee Holsgrove will be available, while D'Sane and McLean should also shake off minor knocks.

SHOTS: Bull, Hooper, Chewins (Tanfield, sub 80mins), A Charles, Warburton, Cousins, Hammond, Perkins, McLean (Browne, 59), D'Sane (L Charles, 67), Buckle. Subs not used: Howells, Holsgrove.

Ref: Mr S Cooke. Att: 2,049.