Aldershot Town won an edgy affair at Edgeley Park in the dying moments thanks to a returning Olly Scott, beating the League Two leaders Stockport County to set up a first third round tie for 13 years against West Brom.
Going into Edgeley Park the Shots eleven was unchanged from the side which forced Stockport to a replay last weekend, with the only change coming on the bench as Aaron Jones missed out on the squad in place of a returning Hady Ghandour on the bench.
Jordi Van Stappershoef made a handfull of important saves at 2-2 at the EBB Stadium last time out, as well as saving a penalty as the Shots beat Eastleigh on penalties last weekend, and Callum Camp forced him into his first real save of the night from range, as his effort from distance forced Van Stappershoef to get down low but looked comfortable for the Dutch stopper.
Jack Barham was the first recipient of a chance in blue and white on the night, as Josh Stokes did some fantastic work to get the wrong side of Macauley Southam-Hales and burst into the box, the scorer of both goals last time out looked to turn provider as he squared to Jack Barham, however Barham’s effort was straight at Ben Hinchliffe in the Stockport goal.
A lackluster first half for opportunites looked as though it had an opening goal with just over five minutes to go to half time as Isaac Olaofe had the ball in the back of the net, however after converting a Southam-Hales cross Olaofe was met by the linesman’s flag, with the striker a good yard behind Coby Rowe when he connected with the cross.
No additional time told the tale of the half, as a tense affair ended goalless with 45 minutes on the clock.
HALF TIME: Stockport 0-0 Shots
It was Jack Barham again who was on the end of an Aldershot move, and again he was denied by Jack Hinchliffe early into the second half. Ryan Glover cut in and delivered a good ball right footed towards the head of Jack Barham, who despite his small frame won his flick, on but was unable to trouble the Stockport net.
29 places seperated the two sides ahead of kick off, but with an hour played nothing could seperate the teams on the scoreboard. The Shots and the Hatters had both made half chances, but the importance of the first goal found both sides locked in deadlock, and Josh Stokes had the best chance to open the scoring. Cian Harries won the ball in a good area and found Tolaj, who slid in Josh Stokes, and under pressure in the box Josh Stokes drilled his effort off the foot of Hinchliffe in the Stockport goal.
Tyler Frost was the first to get the call from the dugout and saw his number held up on the fourth official’s board, he made way for Kwame Thomas in an attacking switch for the Shots with just over 70 minutes gone. Thomas went into attack with Jack Barham and Lorent Tolaj, and Josh Stokes went deeper into the midfield.
Some back and forth wouldn’t warrant any chances of note before Widdrington’s next change, Olly Scott being the next man to join the play in place of Tommy Willard, Ryan Glover going centrally alongside Stokes in midfield with Scott assuming his role down the left hand side.
A cagey affair finally had it’s opening goal in the 88th minute and it fell the way of Aldershot Town. The ball was worked up the line through a mix of throws by Coby Rowe, and it was Haji Mnoga who delivered the throw near the corner flag, and after a lot of bouncing around in the area between Kwame Thomas, Jack Barham and Olly Scott it was Barham who got a flick on the ball just before Hinchliffe into the path of Olly Scott, who from close range made no mistake as he fired the Shots ahead.
Josh Stokes was the third change made by Tommy Widdrington, no doubt looking to tick the clock down to full time, bringing on the returning experienced legs of club captain Stuart O’Keefe in the second minute of injury time.
The Shots were able to cling on to the lead in six minutes of additional time, and sent themselves through to the third round of the FA Cup, setting up a tie at the Hawthorns against Championship side West Brom.
- Jordi Van Stappershoef, 2. Haji Mnoga, 3. Ollie Harfield, 4. Cian Harries (C), 5. Coby Rowe, 8. Tyler Frost (39. Kwame Thomas, 71′), 9. Lorent Tolaj, 10. Josh Stokes (7. Stuart O’Keefe, 92′), 11. Ryan Glover, 22. Jack Barham, 27. Tommy Willard (18. Olly Scott, 80′)
38. Finlay Westen, 14. Ollie Bray, 20. Joe Haigh, 23. Hady Ghandour, 24. Maxwell Mullins, 31. Oliver Turner