A very unlucky Aldershot u19s lost their annual match against the Army FA u23s, who step up their preparation for their upcoming Tri-forces cup fixture.
The friendly, played at the Army stadium in Aldershot, was full of chances but it was two early goals for the Army which saw them overcome to young Shots side 2-1.
Aldershot Town took the opportunity to give minutes to some of the boys coming back from injury, none more so that the first minutes for Montel Brown since his horrendous ordeal two years ago.
The first goal of the game came in just the 12th minute after a well worked break down the left wing ended with a dangerous ball across goal. One touch out of his feet from the Army striker and a sweetly struck finishing smashing in off the woodwork before ending up in the Shots academy net.
It was just four minutes later that an on top Army side doubled their lead. A more intricate move form the home side led to the Army right back breaking into the Aldershot box and drilling it back the goalkeeper with another clinical finish.
However, this goal seemed to wake up the slow starting Shots side who went on to dominate the rest of the game, creating chance after chance but struggling to convert. The first chance of game for Aldershot game in the 20th minute with a creative counter attack down the right flank. A well drilled move from full back and winger was too much for the Army defence to deal with and the ball came through for the Shots full back who had his shot finely saved from the Army goalkeeper. This set the tone for the rest of the half with Aldershot advancing on the Army side but struggling to convert.
Finally the pressure told with just five minutes left to play in the first half as a ball was slipped into the Shots striker, after one quick stepover creating space for the shot he wrapped the ball into the bottom corner which gave the visitors a good chance of over-turning the deficit in the second half.
The academy came out the stronger of the two sides in a half that lacked intensity. But it was Aldershot who went on to create the better chances. The first one coming from a third man run by the Shots holding midfielder who was in one-on-one but could only hit the keeper from close range.
The opportunities continued flowing for Aldershot to grab an equaliser but some resilient defending and particularly goalkeeping stopped all attacks that Aldershot created. It was a corner routine that came closest for the visitors with all players running to the front post creating space for the Shots centre half who came onto it but couldn’t quite control his volley which inched wide.
The highlight of the came however came in the 70th minute when Aldershot were able to bring on Montel Brown who got his first minutes on a football pitch since the attack on him two years back. Manager Ross Mcneilly described himself as “very proud with where he is at.”
Unfortunately it wasn’t to be in a well contested friendly as the Army side held on to win 2-1 in a game full of exciting attacking moves. The Aldershot U23s continue their progression with a home match against Oxford City U23s on Saturday.