Aldershot Town Academy Manager Ross McNeilly thought that his team “should’ve beaten” Dover Athletic after his u19 side drew 1-1 at home on Wednesday in the National League Youth Alliance.
The game started evenly but Aldershot Town had the better chances with a few one-on-one opportunities.
The Shots seemed to have a foothold on the game and looked the more likely to go in front, but against the run of play, Dover took the early advantage.
Despite going ahead, Dover never looked the dominant side in the game but Aldershot Town replied really quickly, scoring straight after Dover’s goal.
Aldershot replied well and scored with a header from a corner as centre-back George Hedley powered his header home.
This equaliser saw the Shots get right back into the game and dominated from then on, putting more and more pressure onto the Dover backline.
The second-half meanwhile was all Aldershot Town but were unable to edge in front. Dover meanwhile, managed to hold out for a well-fought draw despite their lacklustre display in the second half.
Following the game, Academy Manager Ross McNeilly gave his thoughts on the u19’s performance:
“We lost 5-0 to Dover at the beginning of the season and to be fair, we should’ve beaten them (Dover) on Wednesday.
“We did really well, played really well, we had the most chances, missed a couple of one-on-ones and defended really well.”
Ross McNeilly also commented on the pace of the game and how his side coped with it:
“It was very even at the start and then they took the lead. After they took the lead, we were on top then.
“Had a couple of good chances, probably should’ve scored a few more in the second half.
“Right at the end, Dover had a great chance and they probably could’ve nicked it.
“However, on the whole basis of the game, I think that we did enough to win the game.”
The result means that the u19s are third in the National League Youth Alliance and they still remain in the running for the title chase.
The u19s have come so far from their poor start at the beginning of the season and the spirit shown to come back and challenge for the top spot is something that Ross McNeilly hasn’t forgotten:
“I think that if we do well in our next five or six games then I think that we can have a really strong finish come to the end of the season,” he said.
“I think we’ve won like seven of our last eight and it would’ve been nice to win this game as it stopped our momentum a little bit but it shows how far we’ve come.
“We lost all of our first six games and we were bottom of the league. If we had gotten a few points at the start then we would be winning the league quite comfortably and be well clear of the rest.
“Two to three wins at the start would’ve done it by now but the big thing here is that we are still really young and next season will show how strong we’re going to be.”
Ross McNeilly is now looking ahead to the Academy fixtures to come as the u19s and u18s look to continue their recent hot form:
“We are away to Chippenham on Wednesday for the u19s and then on Saturday, the u18s have their National Schools Cup last-16 game. These are some big games coming over the next few days.
“With the game against Chippenham, we still have a chance for the title if we win that game. It’s a big chance for the lads and I’m hoping that they take it.”