Having seen off Champions elect Swindon in midweek, Shots kept up their recent good form with a crushing 4-0 victory over lowly Burton Albion. Goals from Peter Vincenti, Wilko Risser and two from Guy Madjo saw Shots romp to their biggest away win of the season.
Dean Holdsworth made just one change to the team which started on Tuesday. Adam Mekki dropped to the bench and Mark Molesley came in for his first start since re-joining Shots, on-loan from Bournemouth.
Burton - no doubt still smarting from their 7-1 reverse at the hands of Bristol Rovers a week earlier - began the brighter, forcing Shots back with plenty of industry. However, Shots are a mean defensive unit these days and are rarely breached easily. Shots held firm for ten minutes or so and then countered beautifully.
On 15 minutes, Shots took the lead. Mark Molesley delivered a free kick from the right side and Guy Madjo brought it down, back to goal. A mini scramble and a couple of blocked swings at goal later, the ball broke perfectly into the path of Peter Vincenti, who tucked away a right footed shot from 12 yards. 1-0 Shots.
Burton responded and had a good shout for a penalty turned down in 20th minute. Greg Pearson - who earlier in the season had been on loan at Aldershot, appeared to be felled by Troy Brown inside the area, but the referee shrugged his shoulders and gave nothing.
The remainder of the first half was played in a mixture of sunshine and heavy rain showers. It became quite scrappy - neither side giving the other an inch of room to play in and Shots led at the break.
The second period began in bright sunshine and once again, neither side allowed the other any time to settle on the ball. The occasional half chance came and went at either end. Pearson shot wide for Burton. Vincenti fired over for Shots. Zola should have done better from just 8 yards - but shot straight at Young.
On the hour - Shots doubled their lead and it was a perfect example of chasing lost causes. Mark Molesley -who worked hard in the right channel all afternoon - nicked the ball on the by-line and pulled it back to Madjo, who in turn laid the ball off to Aaron Morris. Morris sent over a sweeping cross to the far post, where Wilko Risser barely had to change stride to head home from just 6 yards. 2-0 Shots.
Doug Bergqvist and Josh Payne came on for Shots, replacing Risser and Vincenti, who had both given their all for the cause.
Then, on 76 minutes - a third goal for Shots - one dedicated to the memory of Steve "Chappie" Chapman. Anthony Straker bombed up the left wing and crossed low to the far post, where Guy Madjo met it to slot into an empty net. 3-0 Shots.
Just six minutes later, Shots - now cruising - scored a fourth. Josh Payne put Madjo away through the centre. He outpaced his marker, only for his shot to hit Atkins - the Burton keeper. However, the ball deflected up in the air, deceiving Atkins and Madjo reacted quickest, rising himself to head home. 4-0.
Adam Mekki replaced Molesley and Shots eased their way through the final few minutes of normal time, plus the four more that the referee added on.
Back to back wins then, leaving Shots agonisingly close to the play off places. However, six points off the pace with just two games left, Shots are now realistically - if not mathematically - out of the race now.
Congratulations though, to Holdsworth's hungry young charges on another good away win with a clean sheet to boot. Shots can also now boast a positive goal difference!
Shots: Young 7, Herd 7, Jones 8, Brown 7, Straker 7, Molesley 7, (Mekki) Morris 8, Vincenti 7 (Bergqvist) Hylton 7, Madjo 8 (MoM), Risser 7 (Payne): Subs not used: Clement, Roberts, Att: 2255