March 21, 2015
Chris Barker admitted his Aldershot Town side looked jaded.
They crashed to a 3-1 defeat at title-chasing Bristol Rovers on Friday night.
Two goals in as many second-half minutes secured the points for the Gas in front of over 7,400 fans at the Memorial Ground – a result which saw them return to the top of the Vanarama Conference table.
A second straight defeat, however, leaves the Shots eight points clear of the dreaded drop zone, albeit having played at least two games more than their relegation rivals.
Rovers capitalised on a fast start to take the lead after 11 minutes when keeper Phil Smith failed to clear a cross from the right and former Plymouth and Wycombe Wanderers striker Jermaine Easter pounced to smash in his first goal for the club.
Aldershot, to their credit, bounced back and were deservedly level on 32 minutes when Damon Lathrope’s free-kick was touched on by fit-again Joe Oastler and Brett Williams found the net with a superb low drive on the turn.
But Rovers weren’t to be denied and it was they who reclaimed the lead on 59 minutes when Easter fed Andy Monkhouse, who fired past Smith from close-range.
And the game was all but over two minutes later – Matt Taylor volleying home a cross from the left.
Aldershot’s woes were compounded by Oastler limping off to join Mark Molesley in the treatment room, and Barker admitted that the pending two-week break was vital to his leg-weary troops.
“They started really well but after we got a goal back we didn’t want half-time to come,” the player/boss said. “We looked nervous in the first 15 minutes but eventually calmed down and passed the ball.
“Some of the boys haven’t trained for seven to ten days and it shows. Luckily we haven’t got a game for two weeks now.
“I’m not too down. Coming to Bristol Rovers will not make or break our season. If we win two more home games we stay up.
“This two-week break is crucial for us. We’ll see if we can bring in one or two faces next week.”
Aldershot: Smith; Hatton, Oastler (Wilson 83), Barker (McCollin 87), McGinty; Molesley (Scott 33), Lathrope, Stevenson, Roberts; Williams, German. Subs: Richards, Thomas.
Ref: Ben Toner. Att: 7,416.
(Article taken from getHampshire with many thanks.)