Bradford City 1 Aldershot Town 1
Lewis Blain reporting:
It would be a second match in a row which the Shots lead from around halftime, but couldn't secure all three points. It was bitterly cold and wet in West Yorkshire and that is how the game started. Both sides punting high balls towards their target men, nothing came of it. Eventually Bradford made something of their long balls up to James Hanson, with him providing the knock down to Nahki Wells, Wells attacked the defence before playing it out wide to Zavon Hines who cut in and forced 'keeper Jamie Young to save, twice.
Bradford then had another brief spell of attacks which resulted consecutive corners, both hit in for Hanson but Sonny Bradley was equal to them. The Shots defended well and ensuring that the unbeaten run was in tact. Bradford pressed higher and higher up the pitch winning another corner, defender Micheal Nelson rose well but couldn't get his header on target. The game lacked flow and consistency with Aldershot gifting the ball back to the attacking presence of the home side. Gary Jones was allowed space, his mishit shot sailed up in the air, Young had time to ready himself for a catch but misjudged it and pushed it over the bar for another Bradford corner.
The Shots couldn't control the midfield therefore there was no supply for the strike partnership of Craig Reid and new loan signing Paul McCallum. However the Shots were given a chance, McCallum won a freekick along the left flank just outside Bradford's penalty box. Cadogan's intended cross, put in towards the far post eventually beat everyone and bounced in off the post. It was totally against the run of play and it right before half time. The referee came off for halftime to a chorus of boo's ringing around Valley Parade.
Aldershot Town 1 Gillingham 1
Lewis Blain reporting......
Andy Scott named an unchanged side to the one which went out against Chesterfield, Jeff Goulding returned to the bench. The Gills' number 9: Danny Kedwell started as did Matt Fish in replace of injured Myles Weston and Adam Birchall.
Martin Allen's side kicking towards the Eastbank in the first half started on top with a throw in causing trouble inside the home penalty box, Deon Burton got a touch before Sonny Bradley cleared for a corner. This was swiftly followed up by Burton's deflected effort falling for Kedwell who smashed the ball into the side netting.
Aldershot took their stance in the game after the Gills conceded a free-kick, Danny Rose's ball couldn't find a Shots player but it caused panic between the Gillingham defence. Kieron Cadogan linked well with Rose who then hit in a cross which was neatly flicked on by Craig Reid but Leon Legge read it and cleared it to safety. 10 minutes had passed when the first booking of the match was handed out to Charlie Lee for an elbow to Ben Herd, he received treatment off the pitch.
Kedwell earned the Gills a corner which failed to find anyone but the clearance fell to Fish who skied his volley into the home support. Oliver Risser created space and found Rose who hit it from 25 yards out. The ball sailed towards the goal and it looked to be going in before an expert save from 'keeper Stuart Nelson who parried the ball away. He was called into action again after collecting a poorly taken corner. Shortly after Risser picked up a fleeing ball in the Gills half and he struck it wide.
A late challenge on Chris Whelpdale saw Risser receive a yellow card, the advantage was played but Anthony Tonkin saw the over-hit run out for a goal kick. Kedwell followed this up with Fish and Burton linking well to find him, before he his shot was deflected away. The Shots went into halftime the happier of the two sides, although there were no real chances for either side Scott's men were slightly on top.
The second half began with the Shots, less than 45 seconds after the restart Danny Hylton ran at the Gills defence, Legge made a good challenge to displace the ball. From a Peter Vincenti ball Hylton flicked on the ball into the penalty area, Legge failed to clear the ball after getting a head to it as it dropped for Reid who chested it down and on the turn hit a first class strike - it was out of 'keeper Nelson's range. The Shots went 1-0 up just 2 minutes into the second half.
That goal ended Gillingham's away clean sheet record, one kept since their trip to Rotherham on December 8th. Whelpdale's attempted shot was blocked by Terrell Forbes. The Shots continued to apply the pressure and push Gillingham's defence deeper. Reid had a good chance after another flick on was eventually half cleared, it fell to Vincenti who passed it back into the centre to Reid who set up for a shot before firing over the bar. The striker had another chance but his shot was stopped at the near post.
Joe Martin wiped Herd clean off his feet before falling over onto him, as he got up he checked Herd in the face with his elbow. While this was going on the Shots were allowed the advantage with Hylton running the right flank, even before the ref pulled back for the foul, on the other side of the pitch Peter Vincenti tried to reclaim the ball before he was brought down. Herd was still down and Martin was rightfully booked.
After confusion at a thrown in deep in the Gillingham half, Tonkin gifted the ball to Legge who charged up the pitch unchallenged finding Antonio German, he linked with Whelpdale whose ball in found Legge at the fast post who headed it in for a hurtful equaliser. Another Whelpdale ball in caused trouble in similar circumstances Kedwell was at the back post. Jamie Young pulled off an outstanding one handed save to keep the ball out.
Legge and Bradley had to be pulled apart as a confrontation between both of them occurred when the Gills had a corner. Eventually the corner was taken but Legge couldn't get enough behind the ball, A long range thrown in had to be turned away by Young for a corner. The resulting corner was cleared at the near post by Forbes and the referee blew for full time.
It was an exciting performance from the Shots, a reassuring one too. Not many teams can come away saying that they held the league leaders, with a good away record, to a point. It wasn't a convincing performance from the visitors either with the Shots dominating key parts of the game. The Shots now go 3 points clear of the bottom two, having played a game on everyone else.
Young, Herd, Tonkin, Hylton, Vincenti (Goulding 82), Risser, Forbes, Reid, Bradley, Cadogan (A. Morris 90+1), Rose Unused subs:, Lancashire, Mekki, Stanley, Hall, , G.Morris
Chesterfield 0 Aldershot Town 0
Lewis Blain summarising:
Andy Scott and his men were the visitors at the Proact Stadium for Chesterfield versus Aldershot. Andy Scott made three changes - Anthony Tonkin returned following a two match suspension thus replacing Aaron Morris. Danny Rose was also back, in for Adam Mekki and the final change was Craig Reid for Asa Hall. It was an attacking 4-4-2 formation set out by the new Shots boss.
The home side had the opening shout at goal when Conor Townsend plugged one out from 20 yards but the shot was his straight at defender Sonny Bradley, and then cleared. The Shots entered the game with an improved tempo and attacked the Spireites. From a Peter Vincenti header, Reid could have been in as he took it round 'keeper Tommy Lee as he tried to cut it back in across the goal mouth it was subsequently blocked and put out for a corner. Shortly later Reid has his shot saved.
Aldershot found their pace and upped the tempo of the match; not allowing Chesterfield to get out of their half. Kieron Cadogan found space and hit the ball, although it was hit well, it flew across the goalmouth wide. The right flank of Ben Herd, Cadogan and Reid linked well with Danny Hylton and Vincenti, some slick passes and a brilliant flow of play led to a throw in - deep in their half. Hylton received the ball and pulled a shot off from 20 yards. Lee was equal to it.
Herd then took a free-kick, struck hard but straight into the opposition's wall. Spireites manager Paul Cook made an early change in the 29th minute. The Shots however continued on the upper hand. Oliver Rissed hit a volley which was well off target. Vincenti found Reid with a defence-splitting ball who turned and managed to pick out the shot - Lee was equal to that too, easily the man keeping Chesterfield in the game.
Jamie Young was finally called into action catching Marc Richards' headed attempt. The cynical home crowd jeered sarcastically at Chesterfield's first attempt on goal - which came in the 44th minute of the match. The score was 0-0 at halftime.
Chesterfield came out for the second half as it seemed as if the Shots were still in them! The experienced Jack Lester emerged for the second half too. The Spireites first hit the post before long range efforts by the forward pair were hit wide and over the goal. Aldershot had to weather the storm as Chesterfield attacked. In an similar attempt to the goal conceded at Cheltenham Trotman's looping header luckily landed on top of the net.
Lester turned briskly onto his favored foot but couldn't get his effort on target. The Shots eventually pulled a counter but to add to the bitter pill it lead to nothing. Hylton passed out wide for Cadogan to hit in a dangerous ball meant for Vincenti a deflection saw it wide. Shortly later Cadogan swung in another ball but it was over hit to the far post with no Shots player back there.
Less than 20 minutes were left the Spireites pair Clark and Townsend both failed to make chances pay. Bradley took down Lester out wide, who seemed to go down easily under a light challenge and was booked for dissent. Morris came on to sure up the right hand side, in place of Cadogan. Vincenti carried the ball away with him, rushing past a few Chesterfield players before being hacked down, 30 yards out. Rose took the resulting free-kick it had enough curl on it to put it round the wall but 'keeper Lee managed to pull off a decent save.
The final chance of the match would fall to the Shots in the climatic stages. Rose's corner was put in perfectly for Bradley, his ruling header looked to be going in as Whitaker put his body in the way and cleared it off the line. It was the final bit of play in the match as the referee blew for full time. The Shots go unbeaten in four games, two under Scott and also have 3 clean sheets in a row.
The Shots line-up: Young, Herd, Bradley, Forbes, Tonkin, Cadogan (A.Morris 82) Risser, Rose, Vincenti, Reid, Hylton. Subs not used: G. Morris, Lancashire, McNamee, Mekki, Stanley, Hall
Aldershot Town 2 Fleetwood 0
New manager Andy Scott's first game in charge saw the Cod Army make a first appearance at the EBB stadium. Following a 4-0 home drubbing to Burton last weekend, Fleetwood came south in an attempt to put that right with a win. The Shots however were looking to build on 4 points from their last two games and make the push away from the relegation zone. Terrell Forbes made his Shots debut covering for the injured Troy Brown. Peter Vincenti came back into the starting lineup for the unavailable Danny Rose. Danny Hylton also started; Jeff Goulding missed out with a hamstring injury. Anthony Tonkin served his final match of two from suspension.
Fleetwood picked up the game very quickly and dominated the early possession but the home side had the first real chance of the game as Oliver Risser teed up a long range effort, the powerfully hit shot soared narrowly past the post. Shortly after that Kieron Cadogan got past the Fleet's defence but his shot hit low and wide. On the 10th minute a clever flick on from Asa Hall found Hylton who hit it first time on the volley, the spectacular effort flew over the crossbar.
The closest the Cod Army came to threatening was from a corner but the ball couldn't pick out the presence of Jean-Michel Fontaine. A in-swinging ball shortly later was easily taken in Jamie Young's grasp. Ryan Crowther and Jamie McGuire failed to make chances pay wasting two opportunities with both of their shots safely sailing past of the Shots net. McGuire had another chance within minutes but his effort flew well over Young's goal.
Cadogan caused trouble down the right putting in a dangerous ball, Rob Atkinson cleared the ball behind for a corner. Cadogan took the corner he swung it in and Forbes leaped to knock it on it was blocked. Alan Goodall made an attempt to clear but it just caused a massive scrap inside the Fleetwood box, Sonny Bradley took a punt at it which was also blocked. Danny Hylton made no mistake and fired it into the top side of the net! Hylton's goal in the 38th minute handed the Shots a 1-0 lead.
Goodall went in extremely late and from behind on Mekki on the edge of the box, he was lucky to just pick up a yellow for such a reckless challenge. The free-kick was cleared with ease. Almost instantly the Shots gained another free-kick, this time more centrally to David Lucas in the opposition's net. Ben Herd hit a low and powerful shot which took an outstanding save to keep it at 1-0.
Graham Alexander clearly had something to say in the dressing room as the visitors emerged for the second half early. The Shots were caught napping when David Ball nearly equalised. After getting into a decent position from a flick on, he blazed it over the bar. Again Fleetwood could have capitalised, this time Fontaine wasted a good chance, blasting his shot at the scoreboard.
A rare mistake from Bradley played through Crowther whose shot had beaten Young but it cannoned off the post straight into the hands of the prone goalkeeper. The goalie at the other end kept them in the game, Vincenti broke past the fullback and his low cross was backheeled by Mekki to set up Cadogan but his shot was hit straight at the keeper. Big Jon Parkin was introduced before the hour mark.
However on the hour mark, McGuire brought down Risser who had something to say and in the heat of the moment McGuire pushed Risser's head away. It was right under the referee's nose and deservedly sent him off. Parkin and Vincenti were booked from two separate altercations. The Shots looked to take advantage of their extra man, Craig Reid almost made his impact but his first shot trickled wide.
Reid found space before playing a neat ball into Hylton who broke past the defence, he took it round the goalkeeper but before he could finish he was cleanly wiped off his feet by Goodall, the ref had no choice but to send off another Fleetwood player. Reid stepped up to take the kick but the placed shot was saved by Lucas. Reid made up for it though with another defence splitting pass to Hylton. He remained well composed and expertly finished it past their number one.
Not long remained but Forbes could have finished the game and topped off a cracking performance with a third. Forbes rose well to meet the corner but his header hit the crossbar. The ref felt time was up and blew for full time.
Andy Scott's first home match would be his first win as he begins his new tenure with the Shots. We welcome Andy and his assistant Terry Bullivant to Aldershot and wish them a successful time here. Andy Scott's Red and Blue Army!
Aldershot Town 1 Torquay 0
Struggling Torquay were the visitors at the EBB Stadium, looking for their first win in five while the Shots were looking for 3 points to lift them out of the relegation zone. Dean Holdsworth made numerous changes to the starting lineup, Jeff Goulding kept his place. Peter Vincenti and Danny Hylton were dropped to the bench; a bench which saw Craig Reid and Olly Lancashire return to. Aaron Morris took the suspended Anthony Tonkin at left back. Kieron Cadogan and Adam Mekki both started the game in place of Lionel Ainsworth and Vincenti.
The game started slowly but Torquay took to it and won the first corner, Ryan Jarvis' headed effort flew wide. The Shots entered the game as Cadogan linked up well with Goulding before a neat pass back and a touch saw Goulding's shot fly high and wide of the goal. The game developed but there were no real chances for either side, Torquay were slightly on top but couldn't find the perfect ball in the final third.
Torquay claimed a penalty when Billy Bodin was bundled down but Mick Russell had none of it, it looked more like a dive than contact. Neither side were willing to risk an aggressive attack in case they were countered but the Gulls back four were playing to prove something. Danny Rose found space, egged on by supporters to ''SHOOT'', that's what he did but his effort was poor and awfully wide. The Torquay keeper was tested shortly later when Cadogan linked with Asa Hall, Hall then put in a searching ball which met the head of Goulding, and it took an outstanding save from Michael Poke to keep the effort out. The Shots unlucky not to be leading.
Torquay hit straight up the other end, the Shots conceded a free-kick 30 yards out. It was swung in well but Jarvis' attempt was saved by the post, the rebound flew past danger man Rene Howe, a lifeline for the Shots. The East bank was in full swing when Aldershot picked up their game and broke on the attack. They managed to win a corner, Mekki's ball in found Oliver Risser who made an error, it led to nothing. That took it up to halftime.
Holdsworth made an early change bringing on Danny Hylton for Goulding. He nearly made an instant impact as Aaron Morris lynched onto a low but hanging ball from Bodin, he found Mekki who played Hylton through but the Torquay number five was equal to it. Howe had the best chance of the game for the Gulls, when he broke through the offside trap to go one on one with Jamie Young, he tried to take it round the Shots keeper but Ben Herd was there to force him into a wide pass. Herd was then fouled, an opportunity wasted.
Daniel Leadbitter, allowed to run in space carried the ball a good 60 yards before Morris got back and made the important challenge and clearance. Holdsworth then called for Craig Reid, who scored a hat-trick in the earlier fixture. Hall made way. 5 minutes later Mekki made way for Peter Vincenti. Only thirteen minutes remained. A Shots free-kick found Hylton who should have done better. His shot was hit straight at the keeper.
Oliver Risser created space from a rebounded shot, his effort though cannoned off the underside of the crossbar! The ball was cleared long to Herd. He paced it up the right flank before winning a corner. Cadogan's ball lead to nothing. Shortly later and another Shots corner hit in by Cadogan once again, the ball bounced up into the crossbar off different bodies. It fell for Vincenti whose effort was blocked before Troy Brown forced it past the keeper. 1-0 Shots.
Amidst the celebrations Brown seemed to have injured himself by rugby tackling the club mascot! But he played on while he could. Risser reverted to centre back while Troy was lumped up front, Hylton went wide and Vincenti through the middle. Howe could have been sent off for a late two footed challenge on Vincenti. The free-kick which was sent in by Morris eventually fell for Reid, his shot was weakly struck at the keeper.
The Shots were down to 10 with just added time to play, as Brown aggravated his injury from going down under a challenge. Torquay couldn't muster an attack at all. Cadogan and Reid held the ball in the corner, it was poked out for a corner in which they did the same. The Ref brought a close to the match instantly. The better side came away with the points.
Risser had a clear message after the final whistle, pointing to the ground then pointing up..'We are going up'
Cheltenham Town 1 Aldershot Town 1
Lewis Blain reporting...
Aldershot's next trip was to promotion candidates Cheltenham whose recent form; 1 defeat in 7 games has propelled them into the top four. Many fans were pessimistic heading into this game but wanting a result. Dean Holdsworth made two changes to the starting line up, replacing Kieron Cadogan with Lionel Ainsworth and Jeff Goulding made his debut against his old club who released him a few weeks previous. ex-Shot Jermaine McGlashan started for the Robins as did Michael Hector who was on loan during the Christmas and New Year period.
The Sun was out in Gloucestershire as the Shots kicked off in their all black kit, kicking towards the home support in the first half. Aldershot started the better side with Goulding straight into the action against his former club. Oliver Risser hit the ball forwards to Goulding who headed it towards Danny Hylton nearly putting him through on goal. Goulding was there again to head down a cross but it was cleared as it was going in Rose's direction. Byron Harrison entered the frame after his shot was hit low and wide. Shortly later he won his side a free kick some way out side of the box. Marlon Pack, who was supposedly on his way out of Whaddon Road last month took the free-kick. He drilled it well wide.