FC Halifax Town continued their incredible run of home form but were pushed all the way by another impressive performance from The Shots.
Again looking hugely resilient in defence, to repel countless long throws and high balls into the penalty area, all the visitors’ good work came to naught as substitute Ross Dyer’s first goal for FC Halifax Town snatched all three points and extended their record at The Shay to just one defeat in 27 League games.
Robbed, through injury, of the services of Chris Barker and Mark Molesley, Andy Scott restored Josh Scott and Anthony Tonkin to the starting XI, and The Shots began well.
The tone was set from kick-off, as Adam Smith broke down the right but, after a strong tackle from Tonkin, could only lob a cross into Phil Smith’s arms. In response, Forbes turned on the corner of the box and Glennon was alert to tip his shot over the bar. From the resulting corner, another Forbes shot hit Wilson and Oastler lifted the rebound too high.
The long throws of Marc Roberts quickly became FC Halifax’s main attacking threat, but The Shots’ unflappable defence continued to stand strong. Boden’s shot was blocked by Gibbs, and James Bolton should have punished Forbes’s scuffed clearance but instead pulled his six-yard shot wide.
It was a half of much endeavour but few chances, and FC Halifax were a renewed force after the break. Pearson fed Boden on the edge of the area and his low drive brought a smart save from Smith, and belatedly the game opened up for both sides.
Smith was again equal to Boden’s shot, but Jordan Roberts’ swerving drive, rather shakily punched clear by Glennon, proved just as threatening. Manager of the Month Aspin threw Ross Dyer into the attack, and in just 11 minutes it proved the game’s decisive move.
McManus swung over a deep cross which dropped at Dyer’s feet on the corner of the six-yard box, inviting him to place the ball under Smith and into the net.
Immediately, Williams countered with a 20-yard shot which was palmed behind by Glennon, and the goalkeeper then had to scramble the ball clear from inside his six-yard box after Hatton’s low, teasing corner.
Dyer then hurdled Wilson’s challenge to set Boden through on goal for a shot which he pulled wide, and The Shots responded with their own attacking changes. Fitchett and N’Guessan both had shots smothered by Glennon, and soon N’Guessan was himself replaced, as he limped off with an ankle injury incurred in that very chance.
Smith then denied Dyer, one-on-one, and Schofield blazed the loose ball horribly into the stands, and it was Aldershot Town who attempted to mount a grandstand finish through five minutes of stoppage time.
Glennon spilled Williams’ shot as the game entered added time at the end of added time, and with Wilson sliding in, the hosts were grateful to concede another corner. Another scramble ensued but the final whistle cut short any lingering hopes of a last-gasp equaliser.
Still, though, The Shots could leave West Yorkshire with pride and optimism from another promising display.
FCHT: Glennon; Bolton, M Roberts, S Williams, McManus; Pearson, Maynard, Marshall; A Smith (Schofield 85), Boden, Jackson (Dyer 61). Subs not used: Senior, Ainge, K Roberts
ATFC: P Smith; Gibbs, Wilson, Oastler, Tonkin (N’Guessan 79, Derry 84); Hatton, Forbes, Lathrope (Fitchett 79), J Roberts; Scott, B Williams. Subs not used: Thomas, Diallo