Aldershot Town 2 AFC Bournemouth 1

Only in a game of such deliciously mad, bad and ultimately dangerous chaos could Anthony Straker’s extraordinary winning goal – a back-heel into the bottom corner amidst a crowded penalty area – seem entirely appropriate.

The 87th minute goal sent Aldershot Town up to sixth in the table and condemned faltering Bournemouth to their third consecutive defeat, but it was not the final image of a game which had simmered for much of the second half and eventually boiled over.

The visitors ended with 10 men after Warren Cummings was sent off for volleying the ball into the Shots dug-out from point-blank range. Waiting to take a throw-in, substitute goalkeeper Clark Masters inadvertently threw a replacement ball into his face, and the incident sparked a brawl in which Cummings – fortunate to escape a yellow card earlier in the game for several combustible challenges – and Chalmers appeared ready to throw punches.

Masters was also dismissed for his role in the melee which added another frisson of adrenalin to an already thrilling afternoon. Andy Sandell, on his 50th appearance and giving another hugely impressive performance, had given Aldershot a 21st minute lead, repeating his Boxing Day feat of driving a 20-yard free-kick into the top corner, as Kevin Dillon’s team shaded a tight first half.

A galvanised Bournemouth restored parity through an increasingly frenetic and feisty second period. Cummings lofted a high free-kick into the box and Fletcher’s flailing arms were the tell-tale sign of a subtle push from marker Blackburn. Top scorer Pitman despatched a confident penalty beyond the dive of Jaimez-Ruiz.

Both sides pushed for the winner, but it was Aldershot who finished the strongest. Charles’s glancing header, from Bozanic’s teasing cross, skimmed off the top of the crossbar and, seconds before his winner, Straker had been denied by a spectacularly instinctive save from Jalal.

Then Bozanic picked up the ball on the right, twisted and turned to buy a yard of space from two defenders and floated in a cross. Having swung and missed with his first effort, Straker found the ball at his feet and with his back to goal. Belying a record of just one goal in 112 appearances, he sneaked a back-heeled shot through the arms of Jalal and into the far corner.

Several fiery tackles had flown in before Cummings lost control, and eventually, nearing the end of six minutes of injury time, a football match broke out for the closing few seconds. In the end, referee Mr Hooper just seemed glad to blow the final whistle.

A tally of four points from their two most exacting home games of the season is a fine return for The Shots, but Dillon knows his side will have to remain on their mettle for the visit to Accrington on Tuesday.