It was a successful afternoon in Solihull for the Shots, as a second half strike from Lorent Tolaj gave Tommy Widdrington and Aldershot all the points and ended Solihull Moors unbeaten start to the season in a 1-0 win at the ARMCO Arena.
The Shots were still without Tyler Frost and Kwame Thomas in Solihull, as Tommy Widdrington named an unchanged squad to the one that was beaten 2-1 at Altrincham, meaning there was a second successive inclusion on the bench for Keane Anderson, who is recently back from a loan spell with AFC Totton.
It was a back and forth opening half an hour at the ARMCO Arena, both sides enjoying possession and a handful of half chances. The visiting Shots held the ball well in the opening moments, but the aerial threats of Mark Beck and Kyle Morrison provided early tests for the Shots back line. It took 20 minutes for the Shots to trouble the Moors box with their possession, Morrison involved again at the other end to clear crosses from Ollie Harfield and Jack Barham.
Tommy Widdrington’s side had what seemed a good claim for a penalty waived away by referee Aji Ajibola, as Jack Barham raced in behind Richard Stearman after a looping ball over the top by Haji Mnoga, and after seemingly being taken out by the Solihull Moors defender, Ajibola stood and watched, giving nothing as the ball was cleared.
Aldershot were arguablly the better side in the first half, but as was to be expected from the National League’s only unbeaten side, the Moors defended well and limited the visiting Shots to only a handful of half chances going into the interval.
HALF TIME: Moors 0-0 Shots
Solihull Moors put themselves about a lot better to start the second half, and had the best chance of the game with just under 5 minutes gone in the half. A quick counter attack found its way to Jack Stevens in space, and he squared the ball to Callum Maycock, but the Solihull number 8 got his effort all wrong and saw his looping effort cleared off the line by Haji Mnoga.
Aldershot began to control the game after a quick start by Solihull Moors in the second half, and just after the hour the Shots had the lead. Haji Mnoga played a beautiful ball over the top to Glover, and his touch and flick into space was even better, and the move was topped off after Lorent Tolaj converted Ryan Glover’s pull-back inside the box to send the 211 travelling Shots fans into raptures.
The hosts began to control posession again once a goal down, and Cian Harries on a booking had been given a final talking to. Tommy Widdrington deemed it not worth the risk, and made his first change as Coby Rowe came on in his place in the 85th minute.
Minutes later there was a second change for the Shots, a very conservative change by Widdrington as the scorer of the only goal in the game Lorent Tolaj came off for Maxwell Mullins in the 88th minute.
Aldershot remained solid, and were full credit for their victory when the referee blew the full time whistle in the 95th minute. A fantastic three points sees Aldershot move up into 9th place, with focus now turning to the fourth qualifyinig round in the FA Cup next weekend.
Shots XI: 1. Jordi Van Stappershoef, 2. Haji Mnoga, 3. Ollie Harfield, 4. Cian Harries (5. Coby Rowe, 85′), 6. Theo Widdrington, 9. Lorent Tolaj (24. Maxwell Mullins, 88′), 10. Josh Stokes, 11. Ryan Glover, 17. Aaron Jones (C), 22. Jack Barham, 27. Tommy Willard
Unused subs: 38. Finlay Westen, 12. Keane Anderson, 20. Joe Haigh