MATCH REPORT: Bromley 2-3 Shots

A fantastic second half display saw Aldershot Town overturn a 2-0 deficit to win 3-2 against Bromley, as goals from Jack Barham, Lorent Tolaj and a late winner from Coby Rowe got Tommy Widdrington all the points against Andy Woodman at Hayes Lane. Louis Dennis and Michael Cheek had Bromley ahead after five minutes, but after being sent down to 10 men at 2-2 the Shots were able to turn the game on it’s head and walk away with all the points.

Shots gaffer Tommy Widdrington made one change from the side which suffered defeat at the Crown Oil Arena on Saturday, with Tommy Willard coming in for Dejan Tetek being the only change to the squad ahead of kick off against Bromley. Former Bromley man Haji Mnoga remained absent from the squad due to his international call up for Tanzania.

Bromley came out swinging and landed two sucker punches on the Shots with less than five minutes gone in the game. Michael Cheek had his hand in both goals, firstly flicking on the ball towards Louis Dennis who caught Van Stappershoef off his line and gave Bromley the lead with two minutes gone. Provider turned scorer for the second goal, as Michael Cheek found himself in almost straight from kick off and put the ball low into the bottom right corner of Van Stappershoef’s net to make it 2-0 with three minutes gone.

After the fast start the game began to slow down and the Shots got a foothold in the game and began to control possession. There was notable chances at either end after Cheek’s goal, the first falling to the Shots as Josh Stokes got on the end of a Lorent Tolaj pass but sent his effort over the Bromley crossbar. The other came at the other end and was all the Shots making, as Cian Harries failed to clear his lines and Louis Dennis got in behind one on one with Jordi van Stappershoef, but sent his shot inches wide of the Dutch keepers’ post.

Louis Dennis’ was the last real big chance of the half, with most of the half chances falliing to the hosts Bromley. Andy Woodman’s defence was the second best in the National League going into this fixture, and it showed, as they were able to frustrate the Shots and prevent them from playing that crucial final pass before half time.

HALF TIME: Bromley 2-0 Shots

The visiting Shots started the second half much better than the first, and had a couple of half chances in the opening ten of the second half. The first came from Tyler Frost, as he burst through the Bromley midfield and found Tommy Willard, carrying on his run and overlapping into the penalty area, but unable to find anyone with his cutback. Aaron Jones had the second after a solid spell of posession on the edge of the Bromley box, his effort coming from distance but unable to trouble Grant Smith who gathered the effort which was straight at him.

The fast start to the second half had a goal through Jack Barham just before the hour mark. Josh Stokes did well to hold the ball up with defenders on his back, and sent a deflected cross into the box, the defelction causing the most problems as no Bromley defender wanted to deal with it which left Jack Barham with a simple finish past Grant Smith to make it 2-1.

From one end to the other the game went and Jordi Van Stappershoef was forced into a huge save just moments after Barham scored. After a free kick the ball fell to Besart Topalloj inside the Shots area, and his half volley needed saving down low by the Dutch stopper to keep the Shots just one goal down.

Tommy Widdrington wanted to make a change but was stopped by the refereeing change as the linesman and fourth official swapped after an injury to the linesman, but eventually Widdrington made his change as Tommy Willard made way for Kwame Thomas in the 72nd minute.

Moments after the change Aldershot were level after misjudgment from Grant Smith saw Lorent Tolaj get himself on the scoresheet with 73 minutes gone. Tyler Frost did well to flick the ball on to Lorent Tolaj on the edge of the Bromley area, and what seemed a tame effort rolled towards the Bromley goal and found a way into the bottom corner after Grant Smith seemingly left it thinking it was going wide, but Tolaj and the Shots won’t complain as they got themselves back on terms.

It went from bad to worse for Bromley, as a ball over the top towards Kwame Thomas saw him tangle with Byron Webster, and the referee gave the Bromley defender a straight red card with just over 10 minutes to go.

A man up the Shots also had their heads up and were looking for a winner, Jack Barham coming closest in the 87th minute as he headed an Ollie Harfield cross onto the roof of the Bromley net. The visitors were firmly in control of the game following the dismissal, and were given 15 minutes added time to try and get a winner.

Two games in quick succession took it’s toll on Ryan Glover, who in the 6th minute of added time was taken off with an injury in place of Dejan Tetek.

It looked like it just wouldn’t fall for Aldershot, but right at the death Coby Rowe stepped up and won it for Tommy Widdrington’s Shots. Dejan Tetek did well to hold the ball up, and actually got fouled as he sent the ball out wide to Josh Stokes, Stokes making no mistake as he sent the ball into a towering Coby Rowe who put the ball beyond Grant Smith to win it for Aldershot.

The Shots were able to ride the late Bromley wave of free-kicks in the final two minutes of added time and walked out of Hayes Lane in sixth place thanks to results elsewhere. Attention now turns to Saturday, where Shots host fellow playoff chasers Halifax at the EBB.

Shots XI

1. Jordi Van Stappershoef, 3. Ollie Harfield, 4. Cian Harries, 5. Coby Rowe, 8. Tyler Frost, 9. Lorent Tolaj, 10. Josh Stokes, 11. Ryan Glover (34. Dejan Tetek, 98′), 17. Aaron Jones (C), 22. Jack Barham, 27. Tommy Willard (39. Kwame Thomas, 72′)

Unused subs

20. Joe Haigh, 24. Maxwell Mullins, 31. Ollie Turner