MATCH REPORT: Grimsby Town 3 Aldershot Town 1 (A)

Aldershot Town suffered back-to-back defeats with a 3-1 defeat away to Grimsby Town at Blundell Park in the Vanarama National League.

Aldershot Town made four changes to the starting XI that fell to a disappointing defeat to Barnet FC at home last weekend.

Latest signing Dillon Barnes made his first appearance between the sticks for the Shots, with Ryan Glover, Mikael Ndjoli and Brad Webb all returning in place of Mitch Walker, Harrison Panayiotou, Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong and Toby Edser.

It was Aldershot Town who created the first opportunity of the game, with Ryan Glover and Tommy Willard combining well just a minute in, to win The Shots a corner that unfortunately was well-dealt with by Grimsby Town.

However, it would be the home side that took the lead in the game after Erico Sousa found space in the penalty area to covert from close-range at the 10 minute mark.

An initial effort from Harry Clifton inside the The Shots penalty area saw the ball bounce back off the post and reach Sousa at the other side of the goal to give the Grimsby man an easy finish, despite the defending efforts of Aldershot Town from Clifton’s efforts to begin with.

After this, Aldershot Town looked for a response with a free-kick into the Grimsby penalty area that frustratingly saw the home side clear the danger away four minutes later.

Debutant Barnes was called into action a minute later for The Shots and produced a strong save to deny Sousa one-on-one after the Grimsby Town forward burst through on goal down their right-hand side.

A succession of corners fell Grimsby’s way with home side beginning to take the initiative but Aldershot Town held firm from these, before producing their best moment of the game through Tommy Willard’s effort inside the penalty area, which unfortunately dragged agonisingly wide of the near post with 20 minutes gone.

A 10-minute spell of pressure came for Aldershot Town as they looked to find an equaliser before half-time, but were dealt a killer blow in the 39th minute with John McAtee doubling Grimsby’s lead.

McAtee found the room on the edge of the Aldershot Town penalty area before finding the back of the net with a curling effort that Barnes will feel disappointed not to get away from his goal fully, having got a hand to the shot with just over five minutes to play in the first-half.

Late Aldershot Town pressure came with Webb, Willard and Glover all looking to half the deficit before the midway point, but couldn’t find the Shots’ first goal of the game to give them more of an opportunity to get back into the game in the second-half.

An early opportunity came for Aldershot Town in the second 45 minutes, with neat build-up play allowing Glover to cut inside from the left, but his powerful drive could only find the side netting of the near post in the 54th minute.

There wasn’t much match action following this chance for The Shots until the home side found their third goal of the game with McAtee grabbing his second five minutes later.

After the initial save from Barnes at his near post, the ball fell kindly to McAtee who half-volleyed his effort into the back of the net from a tight angle.

Aldershot Town looked to change things in midfield with James Vennings, Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong and Toby Edser all introduced throughout the second-half, but two direct free-kicks from Vennings couldn’t trouble Max Crocombe in the Grimsby goal.

Tommy Willard looked to recreate his goal against Barnet with a whipped effort from the left-hand side, but his shot was narrowly off-target in the 77th minute.

There was to be time however for a late consolation for The Shots in identical fashion to the Barnet game last weekend, with Ryan Glover notching his second goal for the club in the 90th minute with a brilliant run from Oxlade-Chamberlain to create the goal.

Having beaten several Grimsby challenges, the defender broke into the home side’s penalty area before teeing up Glover for a close-range finish and give Aldershot Town fans something to cheer late on after a disappointing performance away from home.

The Shots will look to bounce back from this with a bit of a break as they are next in action in 10 days time, when they host Dover Athletic on the 22nd February in the Vanarama National League.

Grimsby Town FC: 21 M Crocombe (G/K), 2 M Efete, 5 S Pearson, 6 L Waterfall (C) (Smith 76′), 10 J McAtee, 15 H Clifton, 17 A Raikhy, 18 E Sousa (Scannell 62′), 22 D Amos, 29 R Taylor (Abrahams 70′),  30 S Burgess

Unused Subs: 8 G Coke, 14 L John-Lewis

Aldershot Town FC: 35 D Barnes (G/K), 6 K Lyons-Foster (C) (Vennings 45′), 12 C Oxlade-Chamberlain, 14 R Glover, 16 C Jordan, 18 M Sylla (Edser 65′), 20 M Ndjoli (Berkeley-Agyepong 65′), 22 G Phillips, 23 J Harris, 27 T Willard 32 B Webb

Unused Subs: 31 C Coulter (G/K), 11 H Panayiotou