Aldershot Town 3-2 Exeter City

Jonny Dixon - Scored a brace against Exeter City
In a dramatic match, both teams had to replace their goalkeepers for different reasons, and Ryan Scott was sent off for an over the top challenge within seconds of coming on as a substitute.

The Shots were unchanged from Saturday's victory over St Albans, but they were completely over run by their opponents Exeter in the first twenty minutes.

After dominating early possession, the visitors had the first opportunity of the game in the seventh minute.

Richard Logan headed the ball down for former Shots hero Jon Challinor, but from a good central position 20 yards out, his half volley flew a couple of yards wide.

Two minutes later Exeter deservedly went in front.

A well weighted through ball from Challinor put Stansfield in the clear. Nikki Bull decided to rush out, but it proved to be a fatal mistake as the ex Hereford striker was first to the ball. He took it around the stranded Shots keeper before squaring for the unmarked Elam to hammer it into the roof of the net from 4 yards out.

At this point the Shots defence was being run ragged by the slick visitors' front line, and it only looked like a matter of time before they increased their lead.

However, against the run of play, the Shots grabbed an equaliser.
A well flighted Darren Barnard free kick in the twenty second minute was spilled by Paul Jones and Newman's effort from the rebound was blocked.

From the resulting flag kick a Shots player won a header which reached Rhys Day at the back post - and for the second successive Tuesday night the Welsh defender headed home from close range.

The pivotal moment of the game came shortly after.

John Grant was sent through and he just got to the ball before Jones, who clattered into him.

The referee obviously thought it was a clear goal scoring opportunity and he showed the dismayed keeper a straight red card.

Substitute goalkeeper Martin Rice came on and the impressive Logan was the unlucky player who had to make way.

From the resulting free kick an excellent curled effort from Barnard was headed off the line by a defender.

At the other end a Stansfield flicked header from a free kick went just wide.
Despite their deficit in numbers, the visitors still looked dangerous on the break, and it took some superb defending from Charles to deny Stansfield another shooting opportunity.

Just before the break Nikki Bull was noticeably limping, and he was replaced at half time by Louis Wells who got his first taste of League action.

Half time: Shots 1 - Exeter 1

In an unbelievable start to the second half the Shots took the lead almost straight from the restart.

A long ball caught the visitors defence out and Jonny Dixon ran onto it and coolly lobbed the ball over the stranded keeper.

Molesley then went on a storming run before laying the ball off to Williams. The winger put a decent cross into the danger area, but a last ditch tackle by a defender denied John Grant.

The Shots extended the lead on sixty three minutes.

A measured ball from midfield found Dixon in the clear as the Exeter defenders appealed in vain for offside. The ex Wycombe striker drilled his effort from the angle of the penalty area and it arrowed into the bottom corner.

This should have made the game safe, but this is Aldershot, and as usual they decided to make it difficult for themselves.

Two minutes later a corner was floated over into the Shots box and Danny Seabourne benefited from the non-existent marking, when his free header from 8 yards out hit the back of the net.

A good cross from Dixon was met by Grant, but he couldn't direct his header on target.

Then an excellent cross field pass from Molesley found Williams. The tricky winger put in a teasing cross which was unconvincingly headed behind by a defender.

Jon Challinor then did well to twist and turn in the box, and his fierce strike was well turned behind by Wells.

On seventy seven minutes the lively Williams cut inside and fizzed an effort goal wards, but it deflected off a defender and was cleared.

Ryan Scott then replaced Soares and within a minute he had received his marching orders.

His attempted tackle was over the ball and deservedly he saw a red card.
Exeter then worked a neat move across the Shots box, but Challinor's shot was well blocked.

Dixon then took on a defender in the eighty sixth minute but curled his subsequent effort just wide.

Exeter pushed forward for an equaliser, but Wells was on hand to rush out of his box and clear the danger.

The Shots held firm in the four minutes of stoppage time to keep their 100% home record against Exeter in the Conference.

The Shots now have to visit Dagenham on Saturday and try to prevent the Daggers from gaining the three points that will make them champions.

TS Ratings:
Bull 6 (Wells 6), Smith 6, Barnard 7, Newman 6.5, Day 7, Charles 7, Soares 6 (Scott), Molesley 6.5, Grant 7, Dixon 8, Williams 7.5.


Report with thanks to: Tongham Shots