A first-half deflected poke from forward Dior Angus meant that Aldershot Town fell to a frustrating 1-0 defeat away to Barrow A.F.C. at Holker Street on Saturday.
It was the hosts who opened the scoring on 23 minutes through Dior Angus’ slight touch on a goal-bound effort from captain John Rooney, despite the best efforts of the Aldershot Town defenders.
Aldershot responded with a couple of great chances in the second-half, but just couldn’t find that definitive touch that would see them come away with at least a point.
Danny Searle made four changes from Saturday’s home game against Chesterfield FC. Midfielder Alfy Whittingham returned from his suspension to partner Jack Powell and captain Dean Rance in midfield. Recent signing Lewis Walker was also given his first start for the Shots as Max Hunt and Harrison Panayiotou also returned to the starting line-up to face one of his former sides.
The opening 20 minutes was certainly a frantic one with Aldershot Town arguably feeling aggrieved that they were not given a penalty in the 11th minute.
On his first start for the club since joining from Championship side Queen’s Park Rangers, Lewis Walker broke through the Barrow back-line before looking to have been brought down inside the area.
Despite the best appeals of Aldershot Town, referee Joe Johnson was unmoved and waved claims away from a number of Shots players.
Following this decision, chances certainly fell their way for Barrow striker Scott Quigley, however Aldershot Town goalkeeper Mitch Walker was on hand to keep him quiet with a number of chances just outside the penalty area.
Aldershot Town responded to this pressure with the best chances being created from set-pieces in and around the Barrow penalty area.
Both Lewis Kinsella and Jack Powell looked to have swung in dangerous crosses for Aldershot Town to attack, but on neither occasion were their team-mates able to reach it, with the blustery conditions certainly looking to have played its part.
However, the best and arguably best chance of the half was converted by Angus, who was able to poke forward a goal-bound John Rooney effort for his seventh goal of the season in the 23rd minute.
It looked to have been a blow for Aldershot Town who had defended well up until that point, but looked to see out the first-half just a goal behind and give themselves an opportunity to get back into the game in the second-half.
The Shots definitely pressed for that equaliser in the second-half and had it not been for fantastic goalkeeping from goalkeeper Joel Dixon in the 64th minute, they would’ve got exactly that.
Lewis Walker did brilliantly to beat the offside trap despite Barrow’s best efforts to catch him out, the young forward burst through on goal and as he looked to take it past Dixon, the Bluebirds shot-stopper read what he was going to do and claimed a vital touch onto the ball and saw the danger cleared.
This was the first in two great chances for the Shots in the second-half as Robbie Tinkler, (who had moved to right-back following Hunt’s exit from the game), was able to connect to a fantastic cross into the box but his header was well-read by Dixon again and kept Barrow narrowly ahead.
The home side did have a late chance of their own as in similar fashion to Walker’s chance, recent substitute Hindle tried to take the ball past Walker, however the Shots keeper read his move and collected the loose ball.
This was the last in what was a frustrating result for Aldershot Town, as despite giving the league leaders a run for their money in the second-half, were unable to come away with at least a deserved point as we look ahead to next week’s FA Trophy game away to Torquay United.
Barrow A.F.C XI: 1 J Dixon (G/K), 3 P Brough, 6 S Hird, 8 J Rooney (C), 9 S Quigley (Harrison 87′), 10 L Hardcastle (Dyson 78′), 11 J Kay, 16 M Platt, 18 T White, 20 D Angus (Hindle 84′), 27 B Barry
Unused Subs: Brown, Greaves.
Aldershot Town XI: 1 M Walker (G/K), 2 R Tinkler, 3 L Kinsella, 4 D Rance (C), 5 M Anderson, 11 H Panayiotou (Eyoma 84′), 12 A Whittingham, 15 A Finney, 24 L Walker (Mullings 65′), 25 M Hunt (Santos 74′), 34 J Powell
Unused Subs: Lyons-Foster, Shields.