Ben King reporting from Test Park.
Aldershot Town suffered an early exit from the Hampshire Senior Cup at the hands of Team Solent who blasted five goals past an inexperienced Shots side on Monday night.
A brace each for Hisham Kasimu and Ethan Taylor along with Brandon Eaton’s late goal condemned the Shots to a hammering defeat at Test Park.
Team Solent, who showcase the best footballing talent coming from Southampton Solent University, certainly made an impression and their quality was shown throughout the full match.
Solent’s Luke Bennett earned the hosts an early penalty having been tumbled down in the box and despite Shots goalkeeper Ryan Hall saving the spot-kick from Taylor, the striker was on hand to tuck the rebound home in the 7th minute.
The Shots responded well and started to grow into the match minutes after the deadlock was broken. Winger Laurence Tang was causing Solent a few problems down the left-flank but a pair of efforts brought straightforward saves from opposition goalkeeper Ben Morella.
A fair portion of the first period saw little goalmouth action from both sides. Craig Hunt was close to levelling the scoreline in the 37th minute from 20-yards however a slight tickle at the back from Solent led to the ball falling just wide of the post.
Just three minutes later though, Ryan Penny pounced on a loose ball in the middle of the park and the Solent skipper delivered an inch-perfect pass for Kasimu, who rifled his shot into the top corner.
It then went from bad to worse for the visitors and it was a moment to forget for shot-stopper Hall, who sliced an attempted clearance from 30-yards from his own goal and Taylor was on hand for his second goal of the night after delicately lobbing the ball into the gaping net.
There was plenty of work to do for a Shots side that included Karleigh Osbourne, who captained the team at the start before coming off after 50 minutes and 29-year-old Marvin McCoy who joined the club from Ebbsfleet United in the summer.
If it weren’t for Team Solent’s resolute defending that included a number of well-timed blocks, the Shots would have at least come away from the game with a consolation goal. Sam Gillet came close past the hour mark however his effort similar to Hunt’s strike in the first-half, despairingly fell inches outside the post and out for a corner which came to no avail.
The Shots were guilty of losing concentration in the final 20 minutes of the contest as Team Solent rediscovered their goal-scoring mojo. The home side’s second wind proved to be the difference as the opposition’s attacking talent found it far too easy to break the offside trap.
21-year-old Kasimu may have been unfortunate to miss out on a hat-trick, however he joined the brace club with Taylor as the Frenchman coolly dispatched a one-on-one chance to make it 4-0.
Just two minutes before extra-time Solent had their fifth goal. Once again, the Shots were found wanting at the heart of defence as Eaton intercepted Ray Lluka’s tame pass to the back with the midfielder bursting into the box.
Hall was helpless despite getting a hand onto the Solent man’s powerful strike and that summarised a frustrating performance and result on the night.
The club now looks ahead to a return to National League action on Saturday afternoon as we host Dover Athletic at the EBB Stadium.