Aldershot made the long journey to Gateshead worth it as goals from Ryan Glover and Justin Amaluzor gave Ross McNeilly’s side a 2-0 win to celebrate!
The Shots had the first shot on goal of the game in the sixth minute when Tommy Willard cut in from the left-wing but his shot was easily gathered by James Montgomery. The hosts also saw their first shot on goal come from the left as Adam Campbell saw his shot deflected behind for a corner not long after.
Ross McNeilly’s side have at times launched high presses and this was one such occasion. The Gateshead defence weren’t too comfortable in the early stages which resulted in the first real guilt-edge chance falling to Ryan Glover. A deflected cross into the box fell to his feet at the penalty spot but choosing to shoot first-time, his shot was narrowly wide.
The early high intensity may have took a bit out of the Shots players’ tanks as Gateshead began to come into the game a bit more after the 20 minute mark. Aaron Martin shot narrowly over from distance before Owen Bailey saw a header either hit the post or cleared off the line.
However, in essence of the end-to-end beginning of the game, Tommy Willard came very close to opening the scoring up the other end just moments later as he cut inside past two defenders but dragged his shot inches wide.
In truth, the first-half died not long after then. Neither side really threatened the goal and the tempo fell flat.
The players woke up during the break, though! It was Gateshead who shot out of the starting blocks at the Gateshead International Stadium as Aaron Martin found himself through on goal in the 49th minute. The striker blasted his shot high over the bar, however.
Just a minute later, though Tommy Willard had another golden opportunity as the ball fell to his feet from a Frank Vincent cut-back but his shot from close range was deflected for a corner.
And just a minute after that, Aldershot took the lead! Joe Partington had plenty of time on the edge of the box and with a beautiful, threaded through ball, cut open the Gateshead defence and found Ryan Glover who calmly slotted home.
Tommy Willard was forced to leave the pitch in the 57th minute as he pulled up and bringing Inih Effiong on saw the Shots change approach. The game then again fell a bit flat as both teams looked to change their approach.
The hosts grew into their game as falling behind seemed to spur them on. Adam Campbell looked to test Ashby-Hammond and forced the Shots stopper into making a good save low down.
But after that chance Gateshead didn’t offer much and Aldershot took full advantage. Justin Amaluzor received the ball on the edge of the box and scored from outside the box yet again! A fantastic strike caught Montgomery off-guard and he could only stand and watch it nestle into the top corner.
He could have had a second not long later. Inih Effiong played a ball across the box which was beautifully dummied by Frank Vincent and fell to Amaluzor’s feet but his first-time shot was tame and didn’t cause any trouble.
The Shots were brimming with confidence and Frank Vincent, playing a lot further forward alongside Inih Effiong, deservedly found the back of the net in stoppage time but the assistant referee’s flag was raised to deny a third.
Shots lineup: 1. Luca Ashby-Hammond, 2. Archie Davies, 3. Ollie Harfield, 4. Joe Partington (c), 5. Tyler Cordner, 7. Justin Amaluzor, 8. Frank Vincent, 16. Corey Jordan, 18. Ody Alfa (20. Michael Klass 65′), 23. Ryan Glover, 27 (11. Harrison Panayiotou 86′). Tommy Willard (9. Inih Effiong 57′). Subs not used: 21. Ben Shroll, 22. Giles Phillips.