October 1, 2014
Aldershot Town were beaten 3-0 by Dover Athletic on Tuesday on the night we drew 1-1 with Eastleigh.
Get Hampshire newspaper talks about The Shots being “bullied”
(Match Report from the getHampshire newspaper adapted below with many thanks.)
This was, ultimately, an abject performance which saw a Dover side hitherto struggling for both goals and solidity claim a shockingly easy victory.
Yet it all could have been so different, as Shots competed well throughout the first half only to lack vital quality in each penalty area.
Manager Andy Scott said afterwards: “Dover looked threatening every time they went forward.
“We started well and looked like we were going to score but as soon as the second goal goes in, it just falls apart.
“It’s a lack of belief. We’re creating chances but we’re not looking like we’re going to score goals at the moment.
“It’s not just about creating chances – it’s about work-rate, energy, passion and desire.”
The first half followed a frustrating pattern, as the Shots began in the ascendancy and enjoyed the majority of opportunities, but in between merely proved that goals change games.
For all of their recent limitations, Dover were suddenly a team greater than the sum of their parts and, inspired by the diminutive Christian Nanetti, exposed Aldershot Town’s own failings in a ruthless manner.
Brett Williams’ second-minute shot, which Rafferty fumbled around the post, should have set the tone for a domineering display but only served notice of the disappointment which was to follow.
Having suggested, in the early stages, that they could match Dover’s strength, Shots eventually shied away from their challenge.
Not for the first time this season, Scott was able to suggest that his side were bullied into defeat.
Suddenly, on 22 minutes, Dover took the lead.
Nanetti swung in a cross which Tyrone Sterling headed past Smith, and, bit by bit, Aldershot Town’s confidence ebbed away.
Still, though, Roberts, N’Guessan and Lathrope all saw efforts go close as they initially responded well to the adversity.
A degree of pressure was sustained but, crucially, lacked the cutting edge to truly trouble Rafferty. Nine minutes into the second half, Nanetti showed them how.
In just two touches he controlled Payne’s searching, angled pass and bent a brilliant shot around Smith’s dive to score the second goal and break Aldershot Town’s resolve.
(Aldershot’s Brett Williams leaving the pitch after the 3-0 defeat by Dover on Tuesday night.)
Dover developed something of a swagger in their lively attacks while, at the other end, Shots huffed and puffed to little effect.
Smith parried Miller’s shot and, from the resulting corner, saw Essam’s header cleared off the line. Jordan Roberts again dropped back into defence but within minutes Dover killed the game off.
Stone’s cross from the right was nonchalantly stabbed into the net by Miller as the back four again failed to deal with intelligent movement and accurate delivery.
It could have been more, as Miller’s touch past the onrushing Smith faded just wide and Murphy’s drive hit the crossbar.
Williams twice volleyed over in quick succession but Shots fans, resorting to jubilantly cheering goals created in their own imagination, were soon left to contemplate a scoreline that was inexplicable at both ends of the pitch.
Aldershot: Smith; Gibbs, Wilson, Oastler, Tonkin (Hatton 66); N’Guessan (Derry 56), Forbes (Diallo 70), Lathrope, Roberts; Williams, Fitchett. Subs not used: Thomas.