Hampton and Richmond Borough 0 Aldershot Town 1
Jim Stevenson’s crisp first-half finish ensured The Shots started pre-season with victory against Hampton and Richmond Borough.
Stevenson’s 39th minute goal came as the visitors enjoyed a crucial period of dominance which could have yielded more than the single strike.
The Shots began in neat, purposeful fashion, with Sam Hatton prominent, but it was Hampton and Richmond who fashioned the first genuine chance of the game, as Eddie Hutchinson’s looping header dropped onto the top of the stanchion.
Jake Gallagher spun down the line and saw a fierce cross-shot tipped over by Seb Brown, who soon emerged as the key figure of the first-half. Charlie Walker stretched at point-blank range but could only stab the ball over the bar and was then denied by Brown three times in a couple of minutes: first, as the keeper parried his angled drive, Walker’s own follow-up was superbly blocked, and soon Brown was also smothering Walker’s flick as he attempted to pounce on Dan Walker’s mis-hit shot.
At the other end, Josh Casey curled a low shot across the face of goal but Brown was finally beaten as Dan Walker chased a seemingly lost cause towards the corner flag. Keeping the ball in play, his pass across the penalty area invited Stevenson to take a touch inside his marker and bend a shot into the far corner of the net.
Before the break, Brown parried Walker’s header, as McGinty again made ground down the left, but the second-half found chances at a premium. Trialist Josh Oyinsan saw a header saved from Charlie Walker’s cross, and McGinty’s storming run from his own half ended with a shot being blocked by the defence.
Smith made saves from Hutchinson and Rose, but Stevenson had the game’s final chance, with a shot which was charged down on 84 minutes, and The Shots ultimately ran out comfortable winners in another good work-out for Barry Smith’s squad.
Aldershot Town: Smith; Alexander (Saville 46), Beckles, Barker (Oliver 46), McGinty; Lathrope (Richards 46), Hatton (Shama 46), Gallagher, Stevenson; D Walker (Oyinsan 46), C Walker (Wilkes 64)