October 11, 2014
The sides come out on to the pitch at 2.55.
Little do they know it will end 2-2 after a pulsating match.
(Adapted from getHampshire with many thanks.)
Jordan Roberts earned Aldershot Town a draw with a superb free-kick, but was then sent off in injury-time
Maverick Jordan Roberts showed just why England C manager Paul Fairclough came calling – but still ended up in the doldrums.
The Aldershot Town academy star joined up with his new England team-mates last night as the Three Lions prepared to take on Turkey in an International Challenge Trophy tie in Istanbul on Tuesday.
He will board the plane this morning with mixed emotions of his last contribution for his club and earning his side a precious point with a quite sumptuous free-kick, only to stupidly get himself sent off for the fourth time in his fledgling career.
Roberts’ wonder-strike 15 minutes from time proved the final twist of a pulsating encounter which saw Andy Scott’s men more than match their in-form visitors with a battling display in front of a crowd of nearly 3,500.
(Aldershot manager, Andy Scott.)
Both sides benefited from an element of good fortune with a goal apiece by the break – Brett Williams putting the Shots in front from the penalty spot before Andy Monkhouse levelled just before the break.
Matty Taylor then put Rovers in front with an incredibly harsh handball awarded against Glenn Wilson before Roberts rescued a point.
“I thought the game was a good advert for the league with a lot of committed players trying to win,” boss Scott said afterwards. “Obviously we would’ve like the three points, we kept going for it and had some good opportunities to do that but we gave as could as we could against a side nine game unbeaten.
“The nagging feeling is that we have to do that every week.”
Indeed, with six wins and two draws from their last eight matches, and backed by 1,255 travelling Gas Heads, Rovers were always likely to be a tough nut to crack and so it proved.
But the Shots earned first blood with a rather fortuitous opener on 16 minutes.
Jaydon Gibbs’ long throw into the box kicked off the turf and struck the arm of the unsuspecting Tom Parkes and Williams stepped up to rifle home his seventh goal of the season from the resulting penalty.
(Brett Williams, Aldershot penalty taker and line leader.)
But just when the Shots looked set to comfortably see it out until half-time, Lady Luck balanced the advantage. Adam Cunnington looped the ball over Joe Oastler to release Monkhouse down the right channel and his 18-yard effort on the run took a wicked deflection off Wilson and over the despairing Phil Smith.
Unperturbed, Aldershot took the game to their visitors in the second half, pinning them back from long spells without really testing Steve Mildenhall in the Rovers goal.
Petulant bookings for Roberts and Joe Oastler were perhaps signs of their frustration and it was compounded further on 67 minutes when Bristol Rovers were awarded the softest of penalties.
A deep-angled cross was headed down by Cunnington and Wilson, looking to chest the ball out to the relative safety of a corner, was adjudged to have handled by referee Rob Whitton and Taylor did the rest from the spot.
Scott’s response was to throw on the fit-again Mark Molesley in place of the ineffective Tom Derry – and the bearded play-maker wasted no time to make his mark. His trickery drew the foul from Parkes 20 yards out and Roberts stepped up to bend a superb free-kick round the wall and into the top near corner.
(Aldershot’s, Jordan Roberts, who scored the excellent free kick before being sent off for two yellow cards.)
“It was a moment of class from Jordan,” Scott enthused. “He does practice them in training but nine times out of of ten I’m in a ditch trying to pick them out of a hedge.”
Roberts’ strike sparked something of a grandstand finish and Aldershot had three glorious chances to net a winner in the same 85th-minute move. First, Williams’ shot was parried by Mildenhall, Roberts headed the follow-up off the crossbar and then Wilson’s bundled attempt to convert Gibbs’ cross was somehow scrambled over.
Roberts’ second booking, for a clumsy late challenge on Lee Mansell, all but ended the late resurgence – and Aldershot had keeper Smith to thank for saving a point, pulling out a top drawer one-handed save in the top corner to keep out Lee Brown’s curling free-kick in the dying seconds.
Aldershot: Smith; Gibbs, Wilson, Phillips, Oastler; Derry (Molesley 70), Hatton (Lathrope 45), Forbes, Roberts; Williams, Scott (N’Guessan 90). Subs: Barker, Thomas.
Ref: Rob Whitton. Att: 3,466 (1,255).