Aldershot suffered defeat in Rochdale as the hosts came from behind to pick up all three points. Jack Barham gave The Shots the lead but goals from Jimmy Keohane and Kairo Mitchell completed the turnaround.
The Shots started brightly as Josh Stokes sent an early tester to Rochdale ‘keeper Louie Moulden with a powerful half-volley that needed to be turned behind in he second minute.
Aldershot had a very positive opening spell as Rochdale were opting to play patiently in possession. The hosts favoured keeping the ball within their back-three and The Shots found joy in hitting them on a fast-paced break on multiple occasions – a dangerous Ollie Harfield cross from the left was headed clear with Jack Barham storming into the area, looking to head home 10 minutes later.
But, the home side almost took the lead in bizarre circumstances a couple of minutes later. Ryan Glover’s cross was blocked by Cian Hayes and the ball looped over Jordi van Stappershoef from a tight angle, but the Dutch stopper was able to tip the ball over and spare his side’s blushes.
The Shots’ flow was halted on multiple occasions due to flat balls and in the 16th minute, play was stopped for a fair few minutes as we had to wait for a ball to be suitably pumped up.
Play eventually resumed with Aldershot continuing to look the most likely to score. They found a lot of their joy down the left as Ryan Glover delivered an inviting cross for Lorent Tolaj but his header bounced wide.
And they found their deserved lead in the 37th minute. A corner looked to have been dealt with by Rochdale but Cian Harries won the ball back and found Lorent Tolaj who squared it for Jack Barham to control the ball well and finish even better!
But, just five minutes later, Rochdale would level the game. Jimmy Keohane provided the finishing touch after some penalty area pinball. Aldershot’s claims of a handball in the action fell on death ears as the hosts grabbed a fortuitous equaliser to send the sides into the break all square.
Credit must go to Rochdale who were able to utilise the half-time break to make the necessary adjustments to nullify Aldershot’s first-half joys.
The start of the second-half was in truth a rather dull affair in terms of chances. Rochdale had worked out how to stop the Shots’ penetration as it was now the visitors who were forced to mainly play within their defence.
The hosts then begun to push forward in search of completing a turnaround. Jesurun Uchegbulam sent an effort just wide of the post in the 57th minute for what was the first chance of note from either side after the break.
Jordi van Stappershoef was at his best to deny Kairo Mitchell 10 minutes later. A short free-kick from Adam Clayton found Mitchell on the edge of area and he turned to a clear sight at goal but the Dutch stopper fantastically denied the Rochdale attacker who should have scored.
But in the 79th minute, he did find the back of the net. A short corner was eventually delivered and Mitchell was on hand to head home from just a few yards out.
Tommy Willard’s introduction injected some fresh legs into midfield and he came close to finding an equaliser in spectacular fashion when he dribbled forward and unleashed a powerful effort at goal that was just wide of the mark.
The Shots pushed forward in search of a late equaliser to save their efforts in what had been a decent showing but couldn’t find it in the last action of the game as Tommy Willard did fantastically down the left to make it all the way to the byline but Coby Rowe’s effort from his low cross was blocked.
Attendance: 2865 (266 away)
- Jordi van Stappershoef, 3. Ollie Harfield, 4. Cian Harries, 5. Coby Rowe, 8. Tyler Frost, 9. Lorent Tolaj, 10. Josh Stokes, 11. Ryan Glover (20. Joe Haigh 83′), 17. Aaron Jones, 22. Jack Barham (39. Kwame Thomas 71′), 34. Dejan Tetek (27. Tommy Willard 68′).
Subs not used: 24. Maxwell Mullins, 31. Oliver Turner.