Aldershot Town produced an excellent display as they hosted Eastleigh on a rainy afternoon on Wednesday in the u19s National League.
It was a tense game at the start and Eastleigh got the first chance of the game with their striker having his effort cleared off the line to stop an early lead for the visitors.
Eastleigh’s early pressure didn’t earn any rewards as Aldershot Town replied quickly with the opening goal from Harvey Walker. Jay Barton took the corner quickly and Walker shifted the ball onto his left foot and unleashed a thunderous strike past the keeper.
The game was beginning to get feisty with a few needless free-kicks given away from both sides but there was a great desire to win the ball from the Aldershot Town midfield and defensive line which was starting to add to Eastleigh’s frustrations.
Walker was causing problems on the right-hand side as he continued to use his pace and trickery to trouble Eastleigh’s number three who was struggling to cope with him.
The rain was coming down hard in the first-half but that didn’t stop the flow of the game as Eastleigh were getting back into the game and they came close to equalising but Alfie Saunders denied their number 11 from getting a goal-scoring opportunity.
Eastleigh had another chance when the ball was headed down to their striker from a long ball but his volleyed effort went well wide of the goal from close range. The Shots capitalised on this missed chance and doubled their lead shortly after.
Danilo Pereira showed great persistence to keep the ball on the pitch and find George Britton who hooked a wonderful ball to an unmarked Lewis Horn-Haynes to head powerfully past the keeper to make it 2-0 to the hosts.
Aldershot had a chance to make it three as the ball fell to Taylor Thain from a headed clearance but his shot went wide of the near post. Shortly after, the Shots made it three to end a superb half for the hosts. Barton showed off his passing ability yet again with a brilliant through ball to Britton who took on the defender and fired past the keeper at the near post.
With the comfortable lead, Aldershot continued their dominance in the second-half with the Shots scoring just after the interval. Barton was there once again with an assist but this time it was for Walker who took the ball into his stride, rounded the keeper and slotted home to put the game to bed and deny any chance of an Eastleigh comeback.
The Shots were comfortable but they lost the clean sheet they would’ve wanted when Eastleigh got a goal out of nothing with their striker taking advantage of an unlucky goalkeeping error. This didn’t hinder the Shots’ momentum as Eastleigh were limited to shots from outside the box and half-chances.
Shortly after, Walker almost got his hat-trick but his shot was blocked by an Eastleigh defender. Aldershot had another chance when substitute Kai Harvey hooked the ball to Britton but his half-volley was just wide of the far post.
Eastleigh replied with some pressure on the Aldershot defence from set-pieces but they struggled to create any clear-cut chances just like the first-half. Eastleigh almost got a second goal back but Saunders was there yet again to deny another goal conceded.
Joe Rabbetts wanted to get on the assist list with Barton as he drove down the left-hand side showing great skill to beat his man and clip a delightful ball to an unmarked Pereira but he could only head wide of the far post.
Barton wanted to get on the scoresheet all game and he got his goal in the final minutes of the game. Barton gathered the ball in the box and fainted past the defender’s challenges to keep calm and show great composure to finish comfortably past the keeper.
Eastleigh tried to get a second goal back near the end but their efforts were denied and the Shots did more than enough to secure the win and see off a 5-1 victory.
Aldershot Town u19s XI: 1 H. Keogh (GK), 2 A. Saunders, 5 D. Walster, 6 J.Hughes, 3 J.Rabbetts, 4 J. Barton, 7 G. Britton, 8 T. Thain, 10 D. Pereira, 11 H. Walker, 9 L. Horn-Haynes
Used Subs: 12 K. Harvey, 14 A. Burchett, 15 W. Angell
Post-Match reaction from Ross McNeilly: