Aldershot Town produced a stunning display as they hosted Chippenham Town on a windy afternoon on Saturday in the u23s Suburban League.
The first-half began brilliantly for the Shots with an early goal after the first few minutes. In-form Harvey Walker gathered the ball in midfield and beat a few Chippenham players, making his way down the left-hand side to cross the ball to an unmarked Tommy Willard who had the easy task of tapping in from a few yards.
Aldershot came close to a second just moments after when Jae Kelly showed great persistence to take the ball off of the defender and set up Walker but he was denied by a great save from the Chippenham keeper.
Soon after, the Shots got that important second when Kelly played the ball to Alfie Saunders who fired a beautiful low cross to an unmarked Willard yet again who tapped home to complete his double. It was almost a carbon-copy of his first goal and the Chippenham defenders didn’t seem to learn from their mistakes of leaving Willard free in the box.
The Shots were dominating the first half and Chippenham were really struggling to create any chances. Aldershot came close to a third when Walker’s strike hit a Chippenham defender and fell to Willard who could only fire his effort just wide of the far post.
The visitors were really starting to ride their luck and they almost conceded from a mistake when their defence were sleeping on the ball and Walker nicked the ball off the defender but fired his effort over the bar.
Walker was having an excellent half but he was getting unlucky with finding the net as he had another effort saved by the Chippenham keeper. However, Walker got the goal he deserved when he turned a Chippenham defender inside out before firing past the keeper.
Chippenham were struggling with the Shots’ potent goal threats but they had their first chance of the game when they had a free-kick in a dangerous position outside of Aldershot’s box but the direct free-kick was deflected wide and nothing came of the resulting corner.
However, Chippenham were starting to get back into the game and they got a goal back when their number three played the ball to number 11 whose deflected effort went the wrong side of the keeper and into the back of the net.
Aldershot replied quickly after with their fourth. The efforts of the visitors were undone when Josh Hughes played the ball to Kelly who outmuscled the Chippenham centre-half to slide past the keeper and gain the Shots that much-needed breathing space.
Shots full-back Saunders was starting to get involved in the attacks and he had a half-chance when he hit a speculative effort from distance narrowly wide of the post.
Aldershot started the second-half exactly how they started the game. Walker whipped in a great ball from a corner and found George Britton who volleyed underneath the keeper to score the Shots’ fifth of the afternoon.
Willard then went agonisingly close to completing his hat-trick as his effort went just wide of the far post. Walker was in the groove and he almost got another assist after his great work on the right-hand side nearly set up Taylor Thain for his first of the afternoon.
Chippenham came close to a second goal back when number 7’s effort was cleared off the line by Hughes. The visitors were growing into the game again as they had another chance when a free-kick went straight at the keeper.
Chippenham’s missed opportunities were soon punished by the Shots as they added their sixth and seventh of the afternoon. Substitute Kai Harvey gathered the ball from midfield and hit a thunderbolt into the top corner from distance for the sixth and Walker finally grabbed his second when he beat his defender and fired into the far corner for the seventh.
Aldershot had one more chance to add to their scoreline through Britton but the Shots’ emphatic victory remained and they saw off a 7-1 victory.
Aldershot Town u23s XI: 1 L.Booth (GK), 2 A.Saunders, 5 D.Walster, 6 J.Hughes, 3 J.Rabbetts, 4 J.Barton, 7 G.Britton, 8 T.Thain, 11, H.Walker, 9 J.Kelly, 10 T. Willard.
Used Subs: 12 K. Harvey, 14 W.Angell, 15 D. Garrett, 16 B.Mandeville.
Unused Subs: 1 S. Douglas (GK).
Post-match reaction with Ross McNeilly and Ross White: