In just one week, Shots new manager Dean Holdsworth has brought in three players, five goals, seven points, conducted a rise of eight places and most importantly, brought football back to the EBB Stadium. Two and a half thousand delighted Shots fans left with broad smiles on their faces - lets hope they all go home and tell their friends about it!
Despite early doubts as to the fitness of Jermaine McGlashan, Shots manager Holdsworth was eventually able to name an unchanged line-up for the visit of play off chasing Crewe.
Shots began well and in the opening minutes, having kept possession for some twenty odd passes, a McGlashan cross was headed just wide by Peter Vincenti. Moments later a clever through ball from Guttridge found McGlashan who finished with ease, only to be adjudged just offside. Then Crewe went close as free scoring Clayton Donaldson skewed a shot just across the face of goal.
The match settled down, with Shots, as often this season, enjoying the lions share of possession, but as has also happened often, they failed to capitalise on that advantage and after an inadvertent trip by the recovering Ben Herd, Crewe took the lead in the 18th minute, thanks to a rasping 25 yard free kick from Danny Shelley, his third such strike in his last three starts. It has to be said though that had the Shots wall done it's job, it would never have made it through.
However, breaking with this season's more typical script, Shots responded quickly and just six minutes later, they equalised. McGlashan teased and waited for the right moment to send in a wicked curling cross, which Wade Small met with a crisp header down and into the net in front of a delighted Eastbank.
Shelley threatened again with another 25 yarder, this time from open play, which flew just over the grateful Young's bar. Guttridge responded with a similar range effort, but it was always going high and wide. Shelley struck again from a free kick, but this time, his effort still skidded under the wall, it went 5 yards wide of Young's right hand post.
Then, another event, typical of Shots season occurred - in the minutes immediately preceding half time, they conceded. Byron Moore twisted and teased his way to the by-line and just evading Ben Herd's late lunge, pulled the ball back for Donaldson to score the easiest of tap-ins.
Shots gave an immediate response at the start of the second half, McGlashan cutting in and forcing Rhys Taylor into a brilliant save. Moments later Guttridge did the same. Then, a moment of controversy. With 50 minutes on the clock, Hylton headed over the stranded Taylor, the ball was destined for goal, but brushed the inside of the post slowing it down just enough for Taylor to rush back and scoop it away. Home fans cheered for a goal, but the Assistant Referee shook his head, the ref opened his arms wide to indicate play on. The majority of the home crowd believed it had crossed the line. Replays will provide the truth, but Crewe retained their lead, albeit not for long.
With 63 minutes gone, an almighty scramble ensued on the edge of the Crewe area. The ball rattled around for a good twenty seconds, before it suddenly shot out of a group of players to the unmarked Vincenti. Shots new signing almost lost his balance, but checked, composed himself and squeezed his shot in under Taylor to make it 2-2.
The game was end to end now, Shots attacked, Crewe countered and the EBB Stadium was beginning to witness the kind of entertainment that the Recreation Ground used to-back in the days of Brown and Waddock. It too'ed and fro'd until added time. Then Taylor inexplicably handled outside his area and saw red. Harding, Panther and Guttridge all stood over the resultant free-kick. Panther watched, Harding stepped over the ball and Guttridge stepped forward to curl it beautifully over the helpless substitute keeper Phillips and secured victory for Aldershot.
A thrilling match and a magnificent win which lifts Shots up to 12th place in League Two. What a difference a week makes!
Shots: Young 6, Herd 6, Jones 7 Charles 7, Vincent 6, McGlashan 8, Harding 6, Guttridge 8, Hylton 8, Small 7, Vincenti 7. Subs: Sills Panther Straker.
Attendance: 2613 (with 310 away fans)