Aldershot Town secured a vital three points with a 2-1 win against Maidenhead United on Saturday at York Road.
Dean Rance and Harry Panayiotou put The Shots 2-0 up just after 20 minutes before Remy Clerima got a goal back for the hosts.
Danny Searle made four changes from the last game against Hartlepool United as George Fowler, Harry Panayiotou, Lewis Walker and Alex Finney came in for Robbie Tinkler, Ethan Chislett, Mo Bettamer and Kodi Lyons-Foster.
Aldershot Town had the first chance of the game when Craig Tanner clipped a cross towards Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong who put his header narrowly over the bar. Having been left unmarked, he would be disappointed not to find the net.
It wasn’t long after that the Shots opened the scoring after just eight minutes when they capitalised on their early pressure. Tanner whipped in a corner that caused a bundle in the penalty area before the ball fell to Shots captain Dean Rance who smashed the ball low and hard under the keeper.
Shortly after the goal, there was some confusion as both sides had footballs out. The net in the Maidenhead goal had come loose from Rance’s powerful strike and the referees had to tie it back together before play resumed.
The Shots almost doubled their lead as James Rowe had his corner cleared originally before crossing again to find Harry Panayioptou who headed wide of the near post.
One of the goalkeepers of the season Mitch Walker produced an excellent save to deny James Akintunde before James Comley gathered the ball and fired his effort wide of the far post.
Shortly after, The Shots continued their dream start as Aldershot Town doubled their lead in the 21st minute. Lewis Walker gathered the ball outside the box and laid through Panayiotou who took a touch before drilling the ball into the bottom corner to send The Shots fans into ecstasy.
Aldershot Town were controlling the first half with Maidenhead United struggling to create any clear-cut chances to get themselves back into the game.
Tanner continued to trouble the Maidenhead defence, beating two Maidenhead defenders to earn a free-kick. Tanner whipped in a superb free-kick that almost found Walker who was so close to getting contact before the ball was cleared for a corner.
After Lewis Kinsella’s substitution, Danny Searle opted to change formation with three at the back, five in midfield and two up front.
The formation kept Aldershot Town’s momentum going as Walker raced down the right-hand side fire his effort towards goal with a Maidenhead defender deflecting the ball wide for a corner.
Substitute Kodi Lyons-Foster headed Rowe’s corner towards Walker who poked his effort just wide of the post.
Maidenhead started to put on some pressure just before half-time with Aldershot Town pinned against the wall as Maidenhead had their first clear chance of the game when Remy Clerima headed just wide of the far post.
The second half started slow for The Shots with Maidenhead coming close to getting a goal back. Substitute Ryan Upward fired his effort from the edge of the area and Walker was there again to deny Maidenhead from scoring.
Maidenhead continued their pressure with James Comley finding Danny Whitehall whose shot was expertly saved by Walker once again. Unfortunately, George Fowler attempted a block of his own to try and help Walker and Fowler had to receive treatment shortly after before returning to the field.
The pressure from Maidenhead was rewarded when a corner was lofted into the area and the ball bundled to Clerima after a clearance off of the line with Clerima firing the ball underneath Walker and into the back of the net.
Aldershot Town regained their pressure from the first half and started to create chances with Berkeley-Agyepong racing down the left-hand side to win a corner. The corner was then taken by Rowe who found an unmarked Rance who headed narrowly over the bar.
Shortly after, the Maidenhead keeper had a worrying moment when Panayiotou’s pressure caused Taye Ashby-Hammond to drop the ball but he recovered to deny Panayiotou from scoring. Tanner then had a chance of his own when he hit an effort from distance that went narrowly over the bar.
Aldershot Town had another chance to put the game beyond doubt when new signing Gyliano Van Velzen cut inside and hit his effort towards the far corner drawing a good save from Ashby-Hammond and Panayiotou came close to scoring the rebound.
Maidenhead almost gained a point right at the death when Danny Whitehall had his free-kick saved by Walker and Aldershot Town held on to secure a vital three points away from home.
Maidenhead United XI: 21 T Ashby-Hammond G/K, 2 R. Clerima, 4 J. Ellul, (Upward 45′) 8 J. Comley (Smile 75′), 10 J. Kelly, 14 D. Whitehall, 15 S. Twumasi, 16 R. Sheckleford, 18 J. Akintunde (Alfa 61′), 24 A. Massey (C), 27 J Mundle-Smith
Unused Subs: Steer, Fenelon
Aldershot Town XI: 1 M.Walker, 3 L.Kinsella, (Lyons-Foster 36′), 4 D. Rance, 8 J.Rowe, 11 H. Panayiotou, 15 A. Finney, 16 G. Fowler, 21 J. Berkeley-Agyepong, 23 J.Y. Koue-Niate, 24 L.Walker (Van Velzen 76′), 26 C. Tanner
Unused Subs: Whittingham, Chislett, Miller