Aldershot Town played out an entertaining 2-2 draw away to Maidenhead United at York Road in the Vanarama National League.
Manager Mark Molesley made three changes to the side that won 3-1 at home to Notts County last Saturday, with Ryan Hall replacing Ethan Ross, Colin Daniel replacing Lewis Kinsella and Sinclair Armstrong took his place upfront in place of Corey Jordan as Molesley went with a back-four to start the game.
A number of changes were also made to the substitute’s bench, with Vice-Captain Kevin Lokko returning to the match-day squad, along with forward Harrison Panayiotou and defender Alfie Saunders.
It was a bright start from Aldershot Town with the returning Colin Daniel looking for Tommy Willard at the back post after neat spell of possession, but Maidenhead were able to clear just in the nick of time to stop Willard having a tap-in four minutes in.
Another bright chance for The Shots came three minutes later with a sharp counter-attack resulting in a direct free-kick that was neatly rolled across for Mikael Ndjoli, but the forward saw his effort goes inches wide of the far post.
Several stoppages in play came the way of both sides, with the most decisive of them all resulting in Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain being unable to continue 11 minutes in, with Alfie Saunders introduced early in the first-half.
Following these stoppages, Maidenhead started to look the better of the two sides and would take the lead with a well-taken free-kick from midfielder Dan Sparkes in the 26th minute.
After Saunders’ foul on Shawn McCoulsky 25 yards from goal, this gave Sparkes the chance to step up and find the far-right corner with The Shots given a bit of a sucker punch, having started the game the better of the two sides.
It wasn’t long before Aldershot Town responded, as Sinclair Armstrong made it two goals from two appearances with high-end persistence giving him the luck he deserved with the finish in the 28th minute.
An underhit back pass allowed Armstrong to chase down the pass to Maidenhead keeper Dan Gyollai, whose clearance ricocheted off the onrushing Armstrong as the ball found the back of the net and gave the Shots an immediate response to falling a goal behind.
However, it would be Maidenhead who found the game’s next goal as another set-piece gave the home side the lead through Emile Acquah in the 35th minute.
After an initial good save from Ryan Hall, the home side were awarded a corner that was met by Acquah from close-range as he found the back of the net with his header from just a couple yards out.
Aldershot Town looked to respond before half-time and their best chance came just two minutes from time, with a Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong free-kick agonisingly close to finding Mo Sylla, but the ball didn’t quite fall for the French midfielder and Maidenhead were able to clear their lines just in the nick of time.
This saw the Magpies going into the break ahead by a goal and gave Aldershot Town some work to do in the second 45.
The second half was a much more cagey affair between the two sides but The Shots did have an early chance to equalise four minutes into the second-half with Willard’s flick going agonisingly wide of the far post.
Another chance fell the way of The Shots in the 65th minute after more good work down the left saw Ndjoli look to cross but neither Willard or the recently-introduce Mo Bettamer were able to get on the end of the low cross.
Maidenhead responded to this with a good chance of their own as a long-range effort from Brad Keetch firing back off the post three minutes later, but Aldershot Town were able to clear the danger away after this effort from the Maidenhead midfielder.
The next best opportunity resulted in the game’s next goal and it would be another Aldershot Town substitute who provided it, with Harrison Panayiotou scoring his first goal since returning to the club in the 78th minute.
After more good work from the left-hand side from Berkeley-Agyepong, Panayiotou showed great composure to take his time and shoot inside the Maidenhead penalty area before seeing his deflected effort loop into the back of the net and give Aldershot Town their second goal of the game.
Late chances came the way of both sides but neither were able to capitalise as The Shots and Magpies played out an entertaining draw.
The latest and perhaps best for Aldershot Town chance came to Mo Bettamer in the 90th minute but his header back across goal was just about tipped over by Maidenhead’s Gyollai, leaving both sides exiting York Road with a point apiece.
This result leaves The Shots looking ahead to their next game in the Vanarama National League away to FC Halifax Town at The Shay Stadium.
Maidenhead United FC: 1 D Gyollai (G/K), 2 J Wakely, 3 G Wells, 6 R Clerima, 10 K Ferdinand, 11 D Sparkes, 12 B Kettch (Adams 85′), 18 E Acquah (Barratt 71′), 19 R Upward, 20 S McCoulsky (Blissett 85′), 24 A Massey (C)
Unused Subs: 8 S Donnellan, 17 R Smith
Aldershot Town FC: 13 R Hall (G/K), 6 K Lyons-Foster (C), 10 J Berkeley-Agyepong, 12 C Oxlade-Chamberlain (Saunders 11′), 18 M Sylla, 20 M Ndjoli, 22 G Phillips, 23 J Harris (Panayiotou 76′), 27 T Willard, 33 C Daniel, 35 S Armstrong (Bettamer 62′)
Unused Subs: 5 K Lokko, 7 A Whittingham