MATCH REPORT: Aldershot Town 3 Eastleigh FC 1

Aldershot Town continued their impressive recent home record with a 3-1 victory over Eastleigh FC that saw them move up to 18th in the National League table.

Danny Searle went with the same starting line-up that played out a 0-0 draw with Barnet FC last Saturday, with midfielder Alefe Santos replacing Connor Shields on the substitutes’ bench the only change overall.

It was a bright start from the Shots and looked to take the early advantage in the game and could’ve done just that in the 7th minute.

After a good move down the right-hand side, Jack Powell slid the ball across to Mo Bettamer just inside the penalty area but despite doing well to create space for himself, Bettamer blazed his effort over the bar.

The pressure continued from Aldershot Town early on and a succession of chances followed, with the clearest falling to captain Dean Rance who was given time on the edge of the area to try his luck from distance, but his effort in the 17th minute flew just over the bar.

It became a game of possession at the midway point of the first-half until a moment of individual brilliance from top scorer Ethan Chislett opened the scoring in the 32nd minute.

The 21 year-old picked up the ball just outside the penalty area down the right-hand side before bursting through two Eastleigh FC defenders and smashing the ball into the top right corner past goalkeeper Max Stryjek before he had the chance to react.

Despite Aldershot Town’s almost relentless pressure, they were unable to extend their narrow advantage going into the break as they arguably deserved with the amount of chances they had created.

The Shots continued to push for that second goal early on in the second half and they very nearly did just that in the 50th minute with Bettamer firing on the volley from just outside the area, but his effort was well held by Stryjek.

However, the away side nearly found themselves back into the game shortly after that chance, after Jack Payne’s corner caused something of a goalmouth scramble, before being cleared away by the Shots.

The Shots would eventually find that second goal that their performance deserved and it came after fantastic quick-thinking from defender Max Hunt in the 59th minute.

Hunt received the ball from Tinkler’s throw in on the right before whipping in a brilliant cross to the back-post where Chislett was lurking to get ahead of his defender and nod home for his second goal of the game.

It was not game over yet though as Eastleigh pulled a goal back in the 68th minute through Tyrone Barnett as Eastleigh’s number 10 climbed highest from Payne’s corner and headed home just past the penalty area.

Aldershot Town however, responded to Eastleigh’s goal but extending the gap between them once again with a second goal of his Shots career for Craig Tanner in the 70th minute.

Chislett again impressed down the wing before the laying the ball across to the recently substituted Harrison Panayiotou, who forces a good save from Stryjek from just a couple yards out, but Tanner is on hand to latch onto the rebound and tap home Aldershot Town’s third of the game.

Eastleigh looked to find a consolation goal late on with a number of dangerous corners into the box but the Shots held their nerve and saw out the comprehensive 3-1 victory as we look ahead to this Saturday’s game away to Wrexham.

Aldershot Town XI: 1 M. Walker (G/K), 2 R. Tinkler, 3 L. Kinsella, 4 D. Rance (C), 6 K. Lyons-Foster, 19 M. Bettamer, 20 E. Chislett, 24 L. Walker (Panayiotou 54′), 25 M. Hunt, 26 C. Tanner (Santos 89′), 34 J. Powell (Rowe 82′).

Unused Subs: Anderson, Whittingham.

Eastleigh FC: 1 M Stryjek (G/K), 2 J Partington, 4 R Atkinson, 6 A Boyce (Wynter 78′), 8 J Payne, 9 S Rendell, 10 T Barnett, 11 S Smart (Bearwish 64′), 17 C Miley, 19 D Hollands (C), 22 C Seaman.

Unused Subs: McKnight, Flitney, Scorey