The Shots fell to a rather unfortunate defeat against a strong League One side as Wycombe Wanderers scored twice against the run of play to race into a two goal lead. Tyler Frost got a goal back but the score would remain 2-1 as Wycombe secured the win.
All three of Aldershot’s three signings from the week leading up to the game (Kwame Thomas, Stuart O’Keefe and Christian Maghoma) started the game and in total, eight of Tommy Widdrington’s summer arrivals were getting their first taste of the EBB Stadium from the off.
The Shots startedthe game really well and were pushing their opposition, despite the gap in league position. Kwame Thomas was causing the League One side’s back three plenty of problems and had the first chance of the game. His header towards goal was, however, blocked by teammate Christian Maghoma.
A few of Aldershot’s pre-season goals have come from fantastic team moves and they were unlucky to not add another this afternoon. The move resulted in another Thomas header but, at full stretch, he couldn’t guide it goalwards.
Wycombe had their first sight of goal as the game reached the 20th minute. Gareth McCleary hit a left-footed effort low to Jordi Van Stappershoef’s right but the new Shots stopper was equal to it and gathered the ball well.
The Chairboys took the lead just minutes later, however, as D’Mani Mellor’s effort found the bottom corner. Christian Maghoma pass back to Van Stappershoef was far too soft and Mellor raced forward and curled the ball into the bottom corner.
But, Aldershot continued to look bright. Just before the 30th minute, the Shots came close with two efforts in the space of a minute as firstly, a typical Ollie Harfield cross was met by Thomas who headed against the post before Jack Barham saw an effort blocked.
It wasn’t great news for the Shots in the 34th minute as new signing Christian Maghoma was forced off with an injury. Turning to pass back to Van Stappershoef, he instantly winced and fell to the floor, having to be helped off the pitch.
This early change killed some of the intensity and it wasn’t until the final minute – and subsequently final action – of the first-half saw the next chance. Stokes, again creating opportunities, left a Wycombe defender on the floor with a fair show of strength but his ball into the middle wasn’t met well by Barham and the Shots were very unfortunate to go into the break behind.
Aldershot saw the first opportunity of the second-half and it was a golden one at that. Harfield delivered a beautiful cross into the middle to a free Barham but his header from close-range was over the bar.
Van Stappershoef hadn’t had much to do thus far but was alert to fantastically deny Mellor and Wycombe a second. A slip by Maxwell Mullins allowed Mellor to again race through towards the Dutch ‘keeper but he stood up well and saved with his chest.
Wycombe were able to double their lead in the 64th minute, though. One of their trialists hit a speculative cross-cum-shot from a tight angle which deflected into the net. Certainly a controversial goal with what looked like at least a couple of fouls on Shots players in the build-up.
The Shots would get a goal back in the 79th minute. Tyler Frost won the ball back in midfield and Tommy Willard advanced towards goal, he jinked past a few defenders and his shot was blocked. Zain Walker battled to try and poach a goal from just yards out but it bounced to the surging Frost who was able to finish the move he started.
And, just a minute later, he almost had an instant double. A shot across the face of goal from a fairly tight angle on the left, unfortunately raced across goal without hitting the bottom corner at the far-post but that would be the final chance for the Shots to get back into the game.
Shots lineup: 1. Jordi Van Stappershoef (13. Trialist A 82′), 2. Ollie Harfield, 3. Maxwell Mullins, 4.Theo Widdrington (18.Henry Ochieng 72′), 5. Christian Maghoma (15. George Milner-Smith 34′)(11. Ryan Glover 63′), 6. Cian Harries (21. Trialist C 75′), 7. Aaron Jones (7. Aaron Jones 82′), 16. Kwame Thomas (10. Tommy Willard 46′), 17. Jack Barham (12. Zain Walker 63′), 19. Stuart O’Keefe (8. Tyler Frost 46′), 23. Josh Stokes (14. Trialist B 72’).