PAUL Best’s early strike proved not enough as Swanage Town & Herston were beaten 2-1 at home by Dorset Premier League rivals Sturminster Newton United.

Both sides took their time to settle in difficult conditions at Day’s Park but it was Best who broke the deadlock.

He steered in from close range after 16 minutes to give Swans the lead and notch his 13th goal of the campaign.

Best and Cody Moore then had chances to double the hosts’ lead before the break but failed to take their opportunities.

Swans stopper Ben Hodder pulled off a sublime stop following the interval to keep his side ahead.

But he was then powerless to stop Sturminster Newton restoring parity through Ivan Ivanov’s crisp finish.

Best then narrowly missed the target following good link up from Moore and Aaron Atkinson, and substitute Tommy Beard saw his header chalked off after an offside flag.

But the hammer blow came for the hosts on 76 minutes as Stur took the lead.

Harry Boulton’s speculative effort beat goalkeeper Hodder and ended up in the back of the net to give the visitors all three points.

Beard then failed to hit the target and earn the hosts a point late on when he was teed up by Moore, as Swanage were left to ponder their seventh league defeat of the season.

Swans host Holt United in the Dorset Premier League on Saturday (2pm).