With a famous afternoon set for Aldershot Town in front of almost 5000 travelling Shots supporters at the Hawthorns on Sunday as we look to take on West Bromwich Albion in the Emirates FA Cup Third Round, let’s rewind and see how we made it this far.
FOURTH QUALIFYING ROUND – SHOTS 4-1 LEWES
Our first hurdle came in the form of a potential banana skin as Isthmian League Premier Division side Lewes travelled to the EBB Stadium as we got our Emirates FA Cup campaign underway.
Lorent Tolaj scored a quickfire double in the 12th and 15th minute, but a Tommy Wood goal for the visitors shortly after half-time induced nerves of a comeback.
These were quickly quashed by an Aaron Jones goal in the 56th minute, before Lorent Tolaj completed his hat-trick and the scoring in the 91st minute with The Shots through to the First Round Proper!
FIRST ROUND PROPER – SWINDON TOWN 4-7 SHOTS
A quick summary won’t do one of the most incredible afternoons in Shots history much justice but here goes nothing!
Aldershot found themselves 3-0 up within 10 minutes thanks to two goals from Jack Barham and another from Josh Stokes but a brilliant start to the game was only the beginning of a crazy afternoon at the County Ground.
Lorent Tolaj scored in first-half stoppage time, Cian Harries scored from the spot just minutes into the second-half, Lorent Tolaj scored a sensational second just minutes later and Jack Barham completed another FA Cup Shots hat-trick in the 58th minute to see the scoreline reading: Swindon Town 0-7 Aldershot Town with just 58 minutes played.
Dan Kemp and Charlie Austin both scored braces within the final 20 minutes of the game for Swindon to give some credibility to the scorleline for the hosts as the game finished with just the 11 goals scored and Aldershot Town saw themselves into the Second Round.
SECOND ROUND PROPER – SHOTS 2-2 STOCKPORT COUNTY
The Shots were rewarded with a home tie in the Second Round, but that wasn’t to say getting even further in the competition would be easy with League Two leaders Stockport County visiting the EBB Stadium.
Josh Stokes gave Aldershot the lead in the 10th minute to send a huge home attendance of 4373 wild, but a sensational strike from Stockport centre-back Neil Byrne spoiled the mood just three minutes later.
Paddy Madden put the Football League side into the lead just a minute into the second-half but Aldershot failed to allow their FA Cup run end as another Josh Stokes goal in the 67th minute forced a replay.
SECOND ROUND REPLAY – STOCKPORT COUNTY 0-1 SHOTS
The two sides would meet again at Stockport’s Edgeley Park in front of the BBC Two cameras just over a week later with a shock result awaiting.
Contrary to the goal-fests Aldershot Town had been involved in so far in their run, the game remained goalless until the 89th minute when Olly Scott popped up to bundle the ball home to score what was ultimately the winner!
Scott’s goal was Aldershot’s 14th in just four games in a tremendous run in which they overcame two sides from League Two.
Lorent Tolaj has chipped in with five goals, including his hat-trick against Lewes, Jack Barham has also netted a hat-trick against Swindon and sits on three goals during the run alongside Josh Stokes who also scored in the Swindon game and added a brace in the first clash with Stockport County.
Aaron Jones, Cian Harries and Olly Scott have all added a solitary goal to the overall tally of 14 goals in an Emirates FA Cup run that has provided entertainment in every round.