An excellent all round performance saw the Shots run out comfortable 2 – 0 winners, against last year’s beaten play-off finalists Wrexham, at the Rec this afternoon.
Second Half goals from Mark Molesley and substitute Jordan Roberts were the difference between the sides. But in truth the margin of victory could have been much greater.
Andy Scott was forced into a change as Joe Oastler picked up an injury in training yesterday. Manny Oyeleke moved to right-back, meaning Lewis Young could make his Shots debut out on the right wing.
The Shots were attacking the High Street end in the opening stanza and had the first attempt at goal in the 3rd minute – but Rowlands effort flew over the bar.
Bailey-Jones forced Morris into a good save in the 9th minute, but the linesman’s flag was already raised.
Wrexham had another opportunity soon after, but Jay Harris fired his effort wide.
At this stage the Shots were giving away possession cheaply, and Craig Stanley let them know this in no uncertain terms.
The home side gradually began to get a foothold in the game, and in the 21st minute Young, who had a very encouraging debut, side-footed just wide of the far post.
The same player was in the thick of the action three minutes later.
After he cut inside his full-back, he unleashed an effort which was superbly kept out at his near post by Mayebi, in the visitor’s goal.
The rebound was headed just wide by Paterson.
The Shots were well in control now and, after a quick superbly taken free kick from Stanley had cut out the full-back, Young got to the by-line and crossed into the danger area. But the Wrexham defence dealt with it well.
In the 28th minute a good ball into the box from Rowlands, was fractionally too high for Paterson at the far post, and he couldn’t keep his effort down.
At the other end Morris had to be on his guard when a dangerous ball came into the box, and Bishop was looking to pounce.
Just before the interval the Shots almost caught out the visitors on the counter attack. Young collected the ball on the half-way line and took it on, before switching it over to the Shots right, where Oyeleke’s teasing ball into the box just evaded Paterson at the far post.
Half Time: Aldershot Town 0 Wrexham 0
In the 53rd minute Wrexham made the first change of the game, when Cielewicz replaced Bailey-Jones.
However the Shots were running the show and they had a couple of attempts at goal in quick succession.
Firstly Adam Webster’s header from a corner went wide, and then Paterson’s effort from a Young knock-down cleared the bar.
The pressure finally paid off for the Shots in the 61st minute.
Man of the Match Molesley burst into Wrexham penalty box and fired an unstoppable shot past Mayebi.
The same player almost doubled the advantage three minutes later.
The former Bournemouth man cut inside and hit a screamer, which flew inches wide of the far post.
In the 68th minute Roberts replaced debutante Young, who looked disappointed to be taken off.
Shortly after Molesley had a long range effort which Mayebi flapped at and somehow got it over the bar.
Then Roberts beat his full-back with ease and his cross into the danger area was well cleared.
On 74 minutes only an excellent block from Adam Webster, in his six yard box, denied Wrexham a gilt edged goal-scoring opportunity.
The Shots eventually managed to double their advantage with ten minutes remaining.
An excellent cross from Williams on the Shots right was met by Roberts’ diving header from 6 yards, which hit the back of the net.
Cielewicz’s weak effort was then easily smothered by Morris.
Molesley almost claimed a brace in the 85th minute, after Roberts had mis-controlled the ball it came out to the Shots opening goal-scorer. His vicious strike, which took a slight deflection, crashed onto the bar and went over.
The last attempt of the game came from the visitors, but as was befitting of their performance today, Carrington’s effort was easily saved by Morris.
TS RATINGS: Morris 6.5, Oyeleke 7, Barker 7, Stanley 7, Goodman 7.5, Webster 7.5, Young 7 (Roberts 7), Rowlands 7, Williams 6.5, Paterson 7 (Gibbs), Molesley 8.5.
With thanks to Tongham Shots.