The theory that having an extended break of eleven days between the Torquay win a few weeks back, and Aldershot playing in their Cup Final against Portsmouth on Sunday, would see this game go in our favour was blown out of the water tonight when a controlled performance from the Shots saw them win the game 2-0 although they did get a bit of help on the way when we had Jared Hodgkiss sent off for a foul in the penalty area. The ensuing penalty, taken by their leading scorer Brett Williams, came early in the second half and following that we crumbled completely.
We hadn't been at the races in the first half either with just a fifteen minute spell towards the end of the first forty five that was to give us false hope. I cannot recall a single shot that actually tested their keeper.
We started the game with Josh Gowling returning from injury meaning that Jamie Grimes returned to the bench. No Kyle Store because he has just undergone an operation for a hernia and no Michael Gash either. Not on the bench and not in the ground. Very worrying!
The usual scrappy start to the game followed the referees whistle to commence the game. Both sides were having problems controlling the ball on the windless night and a damp pitch but Aldershot were the first to start to get used to the conditions and began to dictate the game while we chased shadows.
Dan Holman had the first chance of the evening with a shot that Danny Lewis just about tipped over the bar then Chey Dunkley blocked an effort from the former Forest Green midfielder Keiron Forbes. We didn't show anything until Marvin Johnson forced a corner with a shot that got deflected.
And that was basically that for the first forty five minutes.