MATCH REPORT: Wrexham A.F.C. 1 Aldershot Town 2

Aldershot Town continued their recent impressive form with a 2-1 away victory over Wrexham A.F.C that saw them move up to 16th in the National League table.

Danny Searle made just the one change to the starting line-up that beat Eastleigh FC 3-1 draw on New Year’s Day, with forward Harrison Panayiotou replacing Lewis Walker, who has recently had his loan extended until 25 January. Connor Shields also came into the squad, replacing Walker on the bench.

It was a tough game of football to begin with, as neither side were able to carve out a real chance to score until the 20th minute.

Panayiotou fed through his strike partner Mo Bettamer with a great ball, with the latter doing well to drive a shot goalwards that saw Wrexham’s Rob Lainton forced into a brilliant save with his face.

This led to a small stoppage in play with Lainton needing treatment, but the Wrexham shot-stopper was quickly back on his feet and able to help Wrexham clear the following corner.

It was from this point in the first-half where the Shots took control of the game in the first-half and looked the more likely side to score.

Shortly after this opportunity, full-back Robbie Tinkler found Bettamer who did well to create space for himself at the back post, but the forward’s close-range header was somehow saved by Lainton again from just a couple of yards from goal.

Aldershot Town continued to push for that opening goal as it was Craig Tanner’s turn this time to see his chance to score his third goal for the Shots halted by the heroics of Lainton.

The winger was found expertly by midfielder Jack Powell in the 42nd minute with a looping pass over the top, but the ball was quickly smothered and grabbed by Lainton before Tanner had chance to pick his spot with his shot on goal.

The 25 year-old almost made the breakthrough again with his long-range drive flying narrowly past the Wrexham A.F.C goal and ultimately ended a half of football which left Aldershot Town hungry to score first in the second-half.

After continuing their relentless pressure early in the second-half, the Shots would make their pressure pay through taking the lead through Ethan Chislett in the 67th minute.

The ball found its way to Chislett on the edge of the area before the young man stepped up and bent an outstanding effort past Lainton into the top right corner to give Aldershot Town the deserved lead.

It wasn’t long later before the Shots would double their lead with Bettamer climbing highest from Jack Powell’s corner and heading home from just a couple yards in the 73rd minute.

The ball found its way into the Wrexham goal for the third time in the second-half with Chislett bursting through the Wrexham defence before laying the ball off to Panayiotou, only for the linesman on the far side to call play back for offside in the 77th minute.

Aldershot Town continued to press for a third with Wrexham A.F.C. left chasing shadows as they searched for what looked like nothing more than a consolation as the game started to reach its final proceedings.

They would find that consolation in the 90th minute after the ball was fed across to JJ Hooper who smashed home from just a couple of yards, but fortunately saw the Shots able to hold out on what was a professional performance away from home.

The result sees the Shots move up to 16th place in table and looking ahead to hosting Chorley FC in two weeks’ time on the 18th January.

Wrexham A.F.C XI: 1 R Lainton (G/K), 3 J Jennings (C), 6 J Lawlor, 8 L Young, 10 D Redmond, 11 B Grant (Harris 85′), 13 M Carrington, 16 K Kennedy, 17 O Patrick, 18 T Reid (Summerfield 67′), 30 JJ Hooper.

Unused Subs: Dibble, Oswell, Rutherford.

Aldershot Town XI: 1 M Walker (G/K), 2 R Tinkler, 3 L Kinsella, 4 D Rance (C), 6 K Lyons-Foster, 11 H Panayiotou (Whittingham 87′), 19 M. Bettamer, 20 E. Chislett,  25 M. Hunt, 26 C. Tanner (Santos 90′), 34 J. Powell (Rowe 78′).

Unused Subs: Anderson, Shields.