Aldershot Town earned a well-deserved point away to promotion-chasing Chesterfield FC on Saturday at The Technique Stadium.
The Shots made two changes from the home defeat against Bromley in the Buildbase FA Trophy Fourth Round last weekend.
Defender Kodi Lyons-Foster returned to the starting line-up, replacing Alfy Whittingham who took his place on the bench.
Following a spell on the sidelines with injury, Lyons-Foster also made his 100th appearance for the club and became our latest ELM Group Centurion in the process too.
American Josh Fawole was also given the chance to impress with his first start in the Vanarama National League for the club, which in turn saw latest signing Harrison Panayiotou take his place on the bench to start the game.
It was a promising start for Aldershot Town, with Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong, Fawole and captain Lewis Kinsella all involved in two early half-chances, with the latter’s cross almost falling to an onrushing Shots player just two minutes in, but a Chesterfield clearance came just in the nick of time.
Kinsella was again involved in an opportunity to open the scoring early on, with the ball falling kindly to the full-back on the edge of the area, but from a narrow angle, saw his drilled effort whistle just over the Chesterfield crossbar in the fourth minute.
The home side responded with opportunities of their own, with latest signing Joe Quigley heading over the bar in the 10th minute, before a succession of corners for Chesterfield were well-dealt with by Aldershot Town.
The Shots’ next best chance to open the scoring came in the 23rd minute, with Kinsella’s cross finding Berkeley-Agyepong, but his glancing header looped just over the bar.
Following this, the remainder of the first-half saw continuous Chesterfield pressure but Aldershot Town defended well despite efforts from Quigley, Jeff King and Curtis Weston as the score remained goalless going in to the half-time interval.
It was a second-half that was very much like the first, Aldershot Town created a few early opportunities to break the deadlock, with an early corner cleared away from the home side just a minute into the second-half.
The best opportunity for The Shots to open the scoring came just under 10 minutes later, with Oxlade-Chamberlain winning the ball high in the Chesterfield half, before drilling a low ball into the area that rolled agonisingly across the face of goal before recent substitute Harrison Panayiotou could tap-in at the far post.
From these opportunities, Chesterfield responded but along with resolute Aldershot Town defending prevented the efforts from Quigley and Asante, Mitch Walker answered the Chesterfield chances with saves at pivotal moments in the game.
Not too many chances fell The Shots way after this, with the Aldershot Town defenders called into action on numerous occasions to prevent the home side from taking the lead in the game, earning them a well-deserved clean sheet away from home.
Despite the six minutes of time added on at the end of the game, The Shots held firm and come away from The Technique Stadium proud of their defensive solidity and will take this resolute attitude into the next game in the Vanarama National League.
Aldershot Town return to The EBB Stadium as they look to take one of Mark Molesley’s former sides in Southend United next Tuesday.
Chesterfield FC: 1 S Loach (G/K), 3 C Miller (Whittle 56′), 6 L Maguire (C), 8 C Weston, 9 A Asante (Mandeville 69′), 12 T Williams, 19 K Tshimanga, 20 J King, 21 L Croll, 27 J Quigley (Denton 83′), 28 S Khan
Unused Subs: 32 F Kerr, 39 J Rowley
Aldershot Town FC: 1 M Walker (G/K), 3 L Kinsella (C), 6 K Lyons-Foster, 10 J Berkeley-Agyepong, 12 C Oxlade-Chamberlain, 14 R Glover (Ndjoli 89′), 15 J Fawole (Panayiotou 53′), 16 C Jordan, 18 M Sylla, 22 G Phillips, 23 J Harris (Whittingham 77′)
Unused Subs: 31 C Coulter (G/K), 7 A Whittingham, 8 T Edser