Vics 1 Shots 2 - And The Shots Nearly Blew It

NORTHWICH almost nicked a point off the league leaders.

And had they nabbed one then wasteful Aldershot would have had only themselves to blame. Their profligacy bordered on the obscene. Shots were fluid and flashy in their approach but watching them try to walk the ball in at the end of every attack was irksome.

Only a glaring miss by Vics sub Cayne Hanley allowed them to skulk off without egg on their face. To talk solely of shot-shy
Aldershot would tell only part of the tale though as Vics proved dogged adversaries.

In an opening period short on incident Rob Gier's bid to score a spectacular own goal from Michael Carr's cross was the most noteworthy moment of the first 30 minutes/ .Adam Morning screwed a shot wide when well-placed but the hosts' rare forays forward were due largely to Aldershot's slick ball retention. They preferred not to shoot at goal though.

Anthony Charles

Vics were not and Danny Williams' cross was taken off Lucas Akins' toe by a desperate challenge by Anthony Charles.

A moment of magic allowed
Aldershot to break the deadlock. Lewis Chalmers' superlative pass split Vics' defence to send Kirk Hudson clear and he scooped a fine finish over Scott Tynan from the edge of the box. They doubled their tally three minutes into the second half. John Grant had already scuffed a simple chance wide before namesake Joel smuggled the ball over the line with a little help from Michael Bowler following Jonny Dixon's assist.

Kirk Hudson
There followed Shots' best spell and Chalmers should have scored when Grant found him unmarked inside the penalty area. Instead the former Alty schemer blazed wildly off target. Another of Dino's debutants, Aaron Burns, showed an eye for goal when he volleyed a speculative shot straight at Nikki Bull on the hour, while Bowler was brilliant to stop Hudson in his shooting stride at the other end.

Morning then fooled everybody when he stepped over Williams' short corner to make room for Michael Byrne's 20-yard drive only for the ball to be diverted off target by a Shots' defender.

The visitors continued to craft openings at the other end and Anthony Straker's drilled centre was headed horribly wide by Chalmers after he ghosted in at the back post. John Grant was next to spurn a super chance when he spooned over after skipping past Natt Kerr.

Vics reignited the contest 15 minutes from time. Joel Byrom, much more impressive in a withdrawn attacking role after starting the match as a striker, smashed home a volley from the edge of the box to halve his side's arrears. Carr then gave Vics fans a glimpse of what they will miss once he departs after bursting onto Kerr's through ball to fire inches wide from an acute angle.

Aldershot stuck to their script when John Grant thrashed a stinging shot against the crossbar on 85 minutes. Michael Welch headed just over from Byrne's set pice before sub Cayne Hanley missed a sitter. A corner fell at his feet inside the Shots' box and, after his first shot was hacked off the line, he slashed a second attempt wide with the goal at his mercy