Despite watching his side defeated by Crawley Town on Bank Holiday
Monday manager Gary Waddock was upbeat as he spoke to 'The Shots'
after the match.
The former Eire international said, "I have praised them for their
performance and I said to them well done. What else could they have
done today ? Nikki Bull has made one save in the first half and picked
the ball out of the net in the second.
"It just tells you the amount of possession that we had and we were
camped in their half. We do need to be more ruthless in front of goal
and we have the players to do that. This is a problem that we have had
in recent games. To rectify this we need to keep getting in there, be
brave and eventually it will come.
"We will march on and we are already looking forward to Saturday's
trip to Altrincham."
Shots started with the same line up that defeated Histon on Friday
evening and John Grant nearly opened his account within two minutes
after a neat through ball from Ben Harding. The former Halifax Town
striker saw his firm effort well blocked by the busy Ashley Bayes in
the Crawley goal.
Crawley manager Steve Evans' previous visit to the Rec resulted in a
1-0 friendly victory for his former club Boston United and the
Glaswegian, who claims he is much calmer in the dugout these days, was
certainly colourful throughout the afternoon.
Indeed it was a lively affair with plenty of banter between the two
dug outs mixed with exciting football, plenty of chances amidst a good
These is no doubt that Evans' sides will always possess passion and
commitment and he will have been delighted at the early exchanges.
Shots keeper Bull was out to deny Guy Madjo on 10 minutes after the
quick feet of Jamie Cook had set the former Forest Green Rovers
striker away. Cook went close himself a minute later when he side
stepped Jonny Dixon on the edge of the box and curled his strike just
over the bar.
The game was played at a quick tempo although lacking in composure at
Aldershot always looked capable of opening the scoring. Anthony
Charles headed into the side netting from a long Lewis Chalmers throw
and Grant was denied by the quick thinking Jamie Stevens who slid in
to prevent a shot.
Scott Davies' free kick midway through the half saw Grant stretch at
the far post but only to see his header drift just wide of the target.
Davies was again involved on 35 minutes when quick thinking saw him
win the ball from a Crawley corner before sprinting half way up the
pitch. He switched the ball right to Dixon. The striker took one touch
before unleashing a drilled effort just wide of the far post via a
Charles had another header cleared off the line in injury time whilst
Bull saved well at the feet of the lively Cook who struck low with his
left foot after cutting inside the penalty box.
Crawley netted with a rare attack on 53 minutes.
Cook produced a free kick on the left hand side after Rob Gier had
been punished for a hand ball offence. Jon-Paul Pittman headed home
from the edge of the six yard box after not being picked up advancing
on goal. His celebrations after scoring produced a yellow card from
referee Scott; the striker must have been watcing Mido celebrate his
goal in front of the visiting supporters for Middlesbrough the
previous day. It was a caution that was to prove costly later in the
The goal spurred the home side into action. Davies hit the post with a
25 yard free kick around a wall whilst Bayes made a marvellous stop to
deny Dixon from close range.
The former Brentford goalkeeper was equal to Harding's 20 yard strike
a minute later.
You sensed that it was not to be when Rhys Day's header from a corner
was cleared off the line on 66 minutes.
Pittman was sent off a minute later for a late tackle on Gier much to
the joy of the vocal home supporters who he had berated when he scored
The patient and encouraging Shots faithful still got behind their side
who gave everything to get back on level terms. They took chances and
pushed players forward at every opportunity but it was just not to be.
Substitute Louie Soares hit the post after being set up by Kirk Hudson
and Davies struck sweetly from 30 yards to force Bayes' best save of
the day when he managed to tip the curling effort away diving full
stretch to his right.
Chalmers hit the bar from a header whilst sponsors Man of the Match,
Anthony Straker, was unfortunate when he weaved his way into the box
only to see his low striker held well by Bayes at the near post.
Chance after chance went begging but the performance merited a result
but it was visiting boss Evans who was ecstatic at the end as his side
slowed the game down to frustrate Shots supporters.
Shots boss Waddock concluded, "They slowed the game down towards the
end but if we were in the same position we would have done the same.
"I have no argument with that. They were here to do a job and they
have done that. It was smash and grab if you like but they were camped
in their half for much of the game and we didn't break them down. They
go home with three points and we go home with nothing but we put in a
performance and I couldn't have asked for any more from the players".