Ben King reports from the Silverlake Stadium.
Aldershot secured a first away victory of the season in breathtaking style with two first-half goals in three minutes against Eastleigh at the Silverlake Stadium.
An own-goal from Reda Johnson and Scott Rendell’s winner secured the Shots’ first win over the Spitfires in our history.
The Shots found themselves behind within five minutes as Eastleigh talisman Paul McCallum won a tussle with Gabriel Osho before tucking the ball past Jake Cole.
Despite this early setback, the Shots settled into the game quickly with a slick passing tempo to their game as Eastleigh were on the back foot for large periods of the first half.
Matt McClure went close having been supplied by a through ball from Adam McDonnell, as the striker narrowly angled his shot wide of the post in the 24th minute.
McDonnell was finding plenty of room to manoeuvre in the final third and the midfielder was unlucky to see his 25-yard strike deflect away from the target at the half an hour mark.
It wasn’t until the 36th minute where the Shots found a deserved equaliser as McClure’s shot was saved by Eastleigh goalkeeper Max Stryjek, who parried the effort onto the post, before the ball rebounded off Spitfires’ skipper Johnson.
Then just three minutes later it was a double delight for the Shots as Rendell gave his side a dramatic lead with the 31-year-old volleying the ball at the back post from a corner. That’s five goals for the Shots’ poacher this season.
Gary Waddock’s men held their nerve in the latter stages of the first half and but had all the momentum going into the interval with those two quick-fire goals.
The second half was a scrappy affair between the two teams but it was Eastleigh that marginally came out quicker from the blocks.
Full-back Michael Green pounced on a loose ball after Jake Cole was slow to react. Thankfully, the Eastleigh man’s touch took the ball out for a goal kick.
McCallum also missed a guilt-edged chance to equalise for the hosts having broke the deadlock earlier in the encounter, failing to connect to drilled cross in the danger area.
Regan Booty went close to provide clear breathing space in a hotly-contested match as the Huddersfield loanee’s curling strike from outside the box went just over the bar in the 63rd minute.
From then on it was an intense final period of the match for the Shots and the man between the posts Cole passed all concentration tests having made a smart stop from Cavaghn Miley before punching the ball away from the resulting corner.
The final whistle brought joy but also relief from the visiting Shots fans as this precious result sees us in 16th place in the National League heading into the FA Cup fourth qualifying round against Kettering Town on Saturday.