Match Report

Dartford 1-1 Aldershot Town






The Shots earned a hard-won point at draw specialists Dartford but will feel that they created enough chances to secure all three.

The visitors had dominated the first-half, and took a 24th minute lead through Josh Scott, but a resurgent Darts once again came from behind to share the spoils.

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Andy Scott gave a debut to Andre McCollin, and a third debut to Manny Oyeleke, but by the end – after two impressive performances full of the strength and positivity which typified much of the team’s display – both players added to his injury worries.

The start, though, had been hugely encouraging. Rory McAuley headed over from six yards on just eight minutes, but soon Oastler’s header was cleared off the line, and Molesley sliced the rebound over the bar.

McCollin was still recovering from a badly cut lip when, on 24 minutes, the game re-started with a lightning quick move. After Dartford’s throw-in, Williams won the ball back on the edge of the box and fed Scott, who placed an inch-perfect shot past Brown inside the post.

Molesley then flashed a shot across the face of goal, and, after something approaching sparkling wing-play from Chris Barker, his pull-back saw Williams hit a shot which fizzed over the bar.

Bender had a shot blocked during first-half injury-time but it was Aldershot Town who rued the half-time whistle more: controlling the ball instantly, Williams brought a fine save from Brown, and then Forbes won a corner after his low drive, heading into the bottom corner, was deflected wide.

Dartford had barely established a foothold in the game but – as with many of their games this season – the second-half followed a different pattern. Fired up by Tony Burman’s fierce rebuke in their dressing room, they quickly mustered a greater threat, although the final ball was continually lacking.

Smith palmed Pugh’s header away from the near-post, as he met Hayes’ cross virtually on the byline, and substitute Noble nearly played in Pugh with an astute pass, but Wilson made a superb recovery tackle. Another substitute, Sweeney, then began the move which brought their equaliser. Inviting Crawford to advance down the left, the resulting cross was swept into the net by Pugh.

That, however, only roused The Shots into a response. Oyeleke had two long-range drives blocked, and Williams, latching onto Scott’s flick-on, smashed a shot over the bar from 18 yards. Scott was then moved into central midfield, with Diallo introduced as an attacking left-back, and a grandstand finish appeared likely.

Oyeleke twisted and turned inside the box, only for his shot to be charged down, and the last kick of the game brought one final chance for The Shots to snatch victory. Forbes drove forward through midfield and slid a pass through to Williams, who spun past his marker and lashed a shot which was well parried by Brown.

This was, nonetheless, a positive point for Aldershot Town as Dartford recorded their fifth home draw of the season.