It was a comfortable afternoon at the EBB for the Shots, as Ross McNeilly’s side eased to a 4-1 victory to put themselves into the hat for the next round of the FA Trophy.
A first half goal from Harry Panayiotou was topped off by second half strikes from Ryan Glover and Inih Effiong to take the Shots a step closer to Wembley against Leiston.
Shots made 3 changes ahead of the tie, with Ross McNeilly bringing Inih Effiong back into the side, with Tommy Willard getting himself back into the starting 11 following injury alongside Effiong. The pair replaced Tuesday’s strike duo of Justin Amaluzor and Jake Hutchinson, the latter being cup tied. McNeilly also made a change in midfield, bringing Michael Klass back into the side for the cup tied Oliver Pendlebury.
After a bright start controlling possession, Aldershot had their first sight of the Leiston goal in the 9th minute. The ball found it was to Inih Effiong in the Leiston box, and a moment of hesitation meant the Leiston defence were able to get back into shape, and get a block on Effiong’s shot.
Much of the first half was built on frustration for the Shots. Michael Klass and Inih Effiong were limited to the only half chances provided to the Shots before they took the lead. Leiston themselves proved to be difficult opposition, as they did well to stay in the game, making a few good chances of their own.However, persistence paid off for the Shots, and in the 40th minute, Shots came up with a goal.
Ollie Harfield found himself open on the left flank, and whipped a dangerous ball into the box, and after a spillage from Sam Donkin in the Leiston net, the ball fell invitingly to Harry Panayiotou, who converted from close range.
Leiston had a good chance to get level just before the break, after a loose punch from Ashby-Hammond found its way onto the head of Jake Hutchings, but his looping header looped the wrong side of the crossbar and landed on the roof of the net.
HALF TIME: Shots 1-0 Leiston
With no changes at half time, Shots came out quickly, and had a second goal just 5 minutes after the restart. Klass and Willard did well to force a loose ball into the box, and Tommy Willard did well to dart towards the Leiston goal. From a good crossing position, he found Ryan Glover, who put the ball into an empty net from a few yards out to double the Shots lead.
Aldershot kept pressing on for a third, and came close through Tommy Willard in the 60th minute. Willard found himself in a good position, after a ball through left him 1 on 1 with an opposition defender, and a quick adjustment of his feet meant he was able to fire off a shot, which went just wide of the Leiston goal.
The effort was Willard’s last involvement on his return to the starting 11, with Ross McNeilly handing Northampton loanee Peter Abimbola his first minutes off the bench in Willard’s place.
After a period of controlled play from Aldershot, Leiston managed to get a goal back. Ollie Harfield played a loose ball which Will Davies managed to pick up, and after an initial good save by Luca Ashby-Hammond, Finlay Barnes snuck in at the far post and put the ball into the back of the Shots net to give the visitors hope.
However, Aldershot made amends just moments later. Ryan Glover put a good ball into the box, and Effiong was ready and waiting to head the ball beyond Sam Donkin to restore the Shots two goal lead in the 73rd minute.
Shots had a fourth in the 81st minute, again through Inih Effiong. Harry Panayiotou found himself in a pocket of space, and played a good ball through to Inih Effiong, who in turn remained calm as he slotted past Sam Donkin for his second and the Shots fourth to all but wrap the game up.
Leiston were unable to come up with anything else, meaning the Shots go into the next round of the FA Trophy after an emphatic victory.
Shots team: 1. Luca Ashby-Hammond, 2. Archie Davies, 3. Ollie Harfield, 4. Joe Partington (C)(31. Ben De Lacy-Turner, 81′), 5. Tyler Cordner, 9. Inih Effiong, 11. Harry Panayiotou, 16. Corey Jordan, 20. Michael Klass, 23. Ryan Glover (37. Mason Obeng, 84′), 27. Tommy Willard (18. Peter Abimbola, 61′), Unused Subs: 36. Lloyd Thomas, 7. Justin Amaluzor, 34. Oliver Lahtinen-Kalsi, 35. Ashley Akpan.