MATCH REPORT: Bishop’s Stortford (A)

The Shots were eliminated from the Isuzu FA Trophy in the Fourth Round after a day to forget in Bishop’s Stortford.

Aldershot had the first chance of the game as Jack Barham found himself in behind the Bishop’s Stortford defence after just five minutes, but his attempted dink over Jack Giddens was saved.

But, the Shots found themselves behind after just six minutes in controversial circumstances. Stuart O’Keefe was fouled and though the advantage played was fair, the Shots captain was left out of action with a head injury and as play was not stopped, Bishop’s Stortford broke forward and Kane Crichlow slotted the ball under Jordi van Stappershoef.

The ball was almost constantly in possession of the Shots but they found themselves 2-0 down in the 12th minute. A dangerous cross in from the left was turned in by Darren Foxley from a few yards out.

Seven minutes later and things turned form bad to worse as Bishop’s Stortford added a third. Kane Critchlow added his second with a well placed shot from just inside the box that hit the post and went in.

The Blues midfielder then completed his hat-trick and added a fourth for the home side who could hardly believe they found themselves 4-0 up with just 25 minutes gone. The goal was the pick of the bunch, with a great, powerful effort from Critchlow from outside the area.

Kwame Thomas had a half-chance just before half-time, but his effort was wide of the mark and Aldershot into the break with a mountain to climb.


The Shots had a lot of work to do to turn things around in the second-half, but did come out of the blocks with a lot of intensity as they refused to give up on the game.

Tyler Frost and Lorent Tolaj were introduced at the break at the expense of Coby Rowe and Stuart O’Keefe with Tommy Widdrington showing his intent to see his side attack the game.

Indeed, Aldershot did enjoy the larger share of possession and Kwame Thomas had two chances within the first couple of minutes that failed to find the target.

The Shots finally found the target in the 65th minute when a dangerous Jack Barham cross from the left was cleared only as far as Josh Stokes, but his effort was turned behind for a corner by Giddens.

And Giddens again stepped up to deny Aldershot a goal to kickstart their attempts to get back into the game with a fantastic show of reflexes to keep out Ryan Glover’s powerful close-range header.

Stortford’s ‘keeper’s clean sheet would be ruined, however, as Lorent Tolaj slotted home after a penalty area scramble to give some glimmer of hope of a comeback in the 74th minute.

But, those hopes would be dashed within minutes as Kane Critchlow scored his fourth and Bishop’s Stortford’s fifth in the 76th minute from yet another counter attack.

Lorent Tolaj was close to a second not long after the goal as a header hit the bar on the way over the Bishop’s Stortford goal.

And as the game drew to a close, it got even worse for Aldershot as Kane Critchlow scored a simply remarkable fifth goal on yet another counter-attack to see the home side score six.

Shots lineup: 1. Jordi van Stappershoef, 3. Ollie Harfield, 4. Cian Harries, 5. Coby Rowe (9. Lorent Tolaj 46′), 6. Theo Widdrington, 7. Stuart O’Keefe (C) (8. Tyler Frost 46’), 10. Josh Stokes, 11. Ryan Glover, 18. Olly Scott, 22. Jack Barham, 39. Kwame Thomas.

Subs not used: 38. Finlay Westen, 17. Aaron Jones, 24. Maxwell Mullins, 31. Oliver Turner, 34. Dejan Tetek.