Match Report

Aldershot Town 1-3 Barnet






Barnet stole the Boxing Day spoils as John Akinde poached a hat-trick to extend their lead at the top of the table to nine points.

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An injury-time red card for goalkeeper Phil Smith – as Akinde completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot – compounded a frustrating afternoon for The Shots, who had dominated the early stages and drawn themselves level just after half-time. Yet that parity lasted just one minute and the hosts were again left to rue their own missed chances.

The first 20 minutes had belonged almost entirely to Aldershot Town as they kept Barnet pinned back inside their own half with patient passing. Williams bent a shot wide, and Roberts saw a shot blocked as The Bees struggled to clear Hatton’s long-throw, but steadily Barnet roused themselves back into the game.

MacDonald’s shot was parried, and Vilhete’s effort charged down, before Weston pulled his long-range shot across the face of goal. Yet, on 41 minutes, a long ball out of defence sent Akinde barging through the middle past Oastler and, having held off Wilson, he slotted the ball past Smith from eight yards.

The Shots then reasserted themselves, creating two chances in injury-time – as Williams lifted the ball over Stack, who had raced outside his penalty area, only to lob an angled shot wide of the far-post, and Holman spun superbly into space but saw his shot saved – and forcing an equaliser on 48 minutes.

Hatton’s free-kick was deflected for a corner, and from his own deep delivery, the ball was bundled over the line at the far-post. Jordan Roberts was the closest Shots player but the final touch may have been off Akinde or Weston.

Crucially, Akinde restored their lead immediately, amidst appeals for offside, as he broke clear to again finish with ease. The Shots responded well but Smith had to parry Vilhete’s dipping shot and Akinde rolled the ball wide after being played in by the winger.

Holman lashed a first-time effort over the bar, and Williams hit a fizzing 35 yard drive just wide before meeting Gibbs’ cross with a falling overhead volley which also went close. N’Gala nearly scored an 86th minute own goal, with a mis-guided header which beat Stack on its way into the side netting, but that proved to be the final chance of a second equaliser.

Akinde completed his hat-trick in injury-time, as Barker’s back-pass fell short and Smith was sent-off for attempting to retrieve the ball, allowing the striker to pick himself up and score a nonchalant penalty past debutant goalkeeper Dan Thomas.

The scoreline was once again harsh on The Shots, who will travel to Kingfield on Sunday knowing that their reward is overdue.