It was a hard luck story for the Shots against Dagenham at the EBB, with Ross McNeilly’s side being caught out twice by Josh Walker in a 2-0 defeat on a wet night in Aldershot.
The Shots will feel hard done by the result, having been in control of the game for large spells of the tie, losing out to two moments of magic by Josh Walker for the visitors.
Ross McNeilly made three changes to the side which lost 3-0 to Notts County at the weekend, bringing in Harry Panayiotou alongside handing first starts to Jake Hutchinson and Oliver Pendlebury, with Inih Effiong, Marcel Elva-Fountaine dropping to the bench and winger Ody Alfa dropping out the squad.
Aldershot controlled the game in the early stages, doing well to keep hold of the ball on a very wet and skiddy surface. The first sight of the Dagenham and Redbridge goal came in the sixth minute, when a cleared Ollie Harfield cross fell to Harry Panayiotou, and his fizzed ball to Ryan Glover saw the Glover put the ball over the bar.
Against the run of play just moments later, Dagenham took the lead. Josh Walker found his way through the Shots defence and into the box, opening up his body to put the ball across Luca Ashby-Hammond in the Shots net to give Dagenham the lead.
Despite going behind early, Shots continued to control the game. Justin Amaluzor had what seemed a clear penalty appeal denied by referee Lloyd Wood, as he did well to spin in behind the Dagenham defence before being pulled to the ground, with the referee deeming it no foul.
The surface was taking a battering from the rain, but Shots continued to zip the ball around well. Despite all the pressure, Dagenham were defending well, limiting Aldershot to jusy a number of half chances towards Elliot Justham in the visitors goal. Shots remained in control, but were unable to make anything from the possession heading into half time.
HALF TIME: Shots 0-1 Dagenham
McNeilly turned to bench during the half time interval, with Inih Effiong reintroduced to play after being initially left out, taking the place of Jake Hutchinson up top with Justin Amaluzor.
Shots had their best chance to level the scoring in the 55th minute, after Harry Panayiotou played a ball through to Ryan Glover, who in turn sat down his defender and drilled his shot straight at Justham in the Dagenham net. The rebound fell to Ollie Harfield, who was unable to adjust his feet and fired over.
With a lot to play for, Ross McNeilly again made a tactical tweak, bringing on Tommy Willard in the place of Harry Panayiotou just after the hour.
Luca Ashby-Hammond was forced into his first real save of the game in the 71st minute, as Josh Walker managed to slip in between Tyler Cordner and Corey Jordan and used his pace well to dart into the box, but Ashby-Hammond pulled off a good save with his feet to keep the visitors within touching distance for the Shots.
Much like against Notts County, Justin Amaluzor was the man in all the right positions, and found himself with a chance to create some real danger in the Dagenham box, but his shot dribbled agonisingly wide of the far post. Just moments later, there was another good chance, with Inih Effiong managing to give Longe-King an issue in the Dagenham defence, pulling off a shot which Elliot Justham did good work of saving for the visitors.
Dagenham got a second in the 78th minute, Josh Walker providing it for the visitors. A ball was played hopefully over the top, and Walker initially looked offside, but the lino kept his flag down, and Walker remained calm to slot past Ashby-Hammond.
Walker’s second seemed to take the wind of out Aldershot’s sails, with the hosts being limited to just a number of sighters by the opposition defence. McNeilly tried one more throw of the dice, bringing on Marcel Elva-Fountaine in place of Ryan Glover. However, with just moments of the tie left, Elva-Fountaine wasn’t given much chance to make an impact, and the tie ended in defeat for the Shots.
FULL TIME: Shots 0-2 Dagenham
Shots team: 1. Luca Ashby-Hammond, 2. Archie Davies, 3. Ollie Harfield, 4. Joe Partington, 5. Tyler Cordner, 7. Justin Amaluzor, 11. Harrison Panayiotou (23. Tommy Willard, 62′), 16. Corey Jordan, 17. Jake Hutchinson (9. Inih Effiong, 46′), 19. Oliver Pendlebury, 23. Ryan Glover, Unused Subs: 12. Marcel Elva-Fountaine, 20. Michael Klass, 23. Tommy Willard, 31. Ben De Lacy-Turner