Aldershot Town 0 Rotherham United 3

By Shotsweb's Rob Worrall
Last updated : 20 October 2012

Under pressure both to pick up points AND keep the fans entertained, Shots manager Dean Holdsworth named an attacking looking line-up for this fixture against a Steve Evans Rotherham side that also came into this match desperate for a win.

Forwards Michael Rankine, Danny Hylton and top scorer Craig Reid were all named in the starting eleven which lined up in a 4-4-2 formation. Hylton played wide left and Rodman on the right.   

The match got off to a lively start and it was clear within moments that both teams were set up to try and win the match. How refreshing. Lee Frecklington almost scored within two minutes of his Millers debut. However, the attacking midfielder, signed on loan from Posh just a day earlier, could only flick a low cross by Ainsworth towards goal at the gentlst of pace and Young gathered with ease. Moments later Nardiello hasd the ball in the net for Rotherham, but the whislte had long since gone for offside.

On eight minutes, Shots forged forward on the break and Reid found Hylton inside the area. Danny cut back inside but his shot was deflected wide for a corner, which came to nothing.

On 13 minutes, another half chance for the visitors - Nardiello connecting with a cross, but Young was equal to his weak headed effort. Like boxers, the two teams jabbed away at each other, but failed to land any decent blows.

The match was being played at a higher tempo and that seemed to be suiting Shots until the 33rd minute. Ben Pringle made a crisp attack up the left flank and popped in a cross which was headed clear. However, the ball fell straight at the feet of loanee Frecklington, who shifted it to the right and struck a sweet curling right foot shot beyone the reach of Young and into the top corner. 1-0 Millers.   

The tiny bit of confidence that Shots had appeared to gain from the midweek Hampshire Cup win suddenly seemed to drain away. Rotherham should have doubled their lead five minutes later. Young headed way out to the left of his area to try and get a high ball, but it was always going to be beyond his reach and the ball fell at the feet of a Millers player, who crossed into the box. Nardiello jumped with Herd and won, but somehow, his header drifted harmlessly wide of the unguarded goal. A let off for Shots for whom half time couldn't come quick enough.

Rotherham looked the sharper at the start of the second half. First Ainsworth saw his point blank shot parried by Young and cleared to safety. Then Frecklington unleashed another bullet, which took the faintest of deflections before fizzing just over the bar for a corner. Moments later, Ainsworth struck again from the edge of the area and the ball appeared to beat Young but cannoned back off a well positioned Aaron Morris. Then that man Frecklington struck again - his fourth effort of the match - this time it was blocked.

Somehow, Shots had survived a torrid onslaught from the visitors but another goal was always coming and sure enough, on 57 minutes it came. Direct free kick, taken by Bob Harris and curled past a helpless Young.

Holdsworth made a double change: Vincenti for Payne and Mekki for Rodman. The Eastbank greeted it with chants of "You dont know what you're doing" - perhaps the clearest mass evidence yet that the home supporters faith in Holdsworth is fading fast. The sustitutions has little impact, although Vincenti at least played with passion and determination, something sadly lacking from too many of the Shots eleven.

On 79 minutes, at 0-2 down, striker Rankine was replaced by left back Tonkin. Morris moved into the middle. Hylton up alongside Reid and Rose out to wide left.  

Two minutes later it was all over. Ainsworth - who had been afforded the most space I have ever seen a winger have in a match, had what was his fourth or fifth effort of the match. Young parried, but Alex Revell was on hand to follow up. 0-3.

So, seven consecutive defeats now. Desperate, desperate times for Shots, and for Holdsworth.....and that's as positive as I can possibly be this afternoon.    

Shots: Young, Herd, Lancashire, Brown, Morris, Rodman, (Mekki) Payne, (Vincenti) Rose, Hylton, Rankine, (Tonkin) Reid. Subs: Morris(G) Branston, Bradley, Munns.

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