Two 25-yard finishes from Matt McClure and Bernard Mensah were the difference as Aldershot Town beat National League basement side Maidstone United 2-0 at the Gallagher Stadium to end a torrid 2018/19 season with a victory.
Shots boss Gary Waddock made just one change to the side that beat also relegated Havant & Waterlooville on Easter Monday, with Jake Gallagher coming in for Alex Finney who owing to a clause in his transfer, wasn’t allowed to play against his former side.
It was a cold and blustery day in Kent and the conditions were evident in the first half as both sides struggled to carve out clear chances.
The hosts best chance came on 21 minutes when Blair Turgott crossed in for Elliott Romain, he slipped his marker in Dominic Bernard and shot at goal from close range but it was a fantastic save from Jake Cole who tipped it wide from point-blank range.
McClure had the Shots best effort on 34 minutes after he latched onto Lewis Kinsella’s long ball, he tried to swerve an effort in from a tight angle which went just wide.
The hosts had a good chance just five minutes into the half. Justin Amaluzor broke away from Bernard down the Shots right-hand side but his effort was palmed away by Cole into the side-netting.
Then on 56 minutes and out of nothing, McClure smashed an unstoppable low effort from 25 yards straight past Chris Lewington and into the far bottom corner.
This perked the Shots up and former loanee Will De Havilland had to be alert to block efforts from McClure and Scott Rendell.
Mensah doubled the Shots lead on 85 minutes. He collected the ball 25 yards out and swerved an effort past Lewington and straight into the far top corner.
ALDERSHOT TOWN: Cole, Bernard, Menayese, Elokobi, Kinsella (McDonnell 78), Howell, Gallagher (Rowe 57), Booty (Goddard 57), Mensah, McClure, Rendell.
Subs not used: Hall, Grant.
By Chris Woods