Plymouth Argyle 0 Aldershot Town 2

By Shotsweb's Rob Worrall
Last updated : 18 August 2012

There is no other day quite like this one. Fans of all 92 football league clubs wake up on this morning, full of hopes and dreams for the new football season. By 5pm, many of those dreams have been shattered, for a few hours at least, until the word 'bouncebackability' pops into their head.....and once again, those dreams come alive again.

So what of Aldershot Town then? Well, same management team, but this season's playing squad is most definitely bigger and according to popular opinion, stronger than last seasons. Certainly there is a strong 'togetherness' throughout the club, everyone pulling in the same direction, on and off the pitch.

Following the promising performance in holding Championship side Wolves to a 1-1 draw after 120 mins of football, The Shots came into this match in confident mood and in pretty good shape too. Long term absentee's Ross Warner (back) and Craig Stanley (leg) were unavailable, along with the suspended Danny Hylton and Guy Branston and Olly Lancashire (recovering from knocks).

Manager Dean Holdsworth was forced into a couple of changes from the Wolves game. Vincenti and Lancashire were out injured. In came Alex Rodman and Josh Payne.    

Shots made a dream start, settling quickly and then scoring the first goal of the 2012-13 League Two season. Anthony Tonkin assisted the goal with a wicked curling 5th minute free kick, which Troy Brown met with a well times leap and headed home.

Plymouth responded with a couple of long range efforts, from Chadwick and Gurrieri, both of which were always going wide. On 21 minutes, Gurrieri went a little closer, this time forcing Young to go to ground and smother the shot, at the second attempt, the initial effort spilling momentarily out of his hands.

Paul Wotton's 25 yard free kick thumped the post for the home side and they were unlucky again just moments later, when Lecointe's header was foiled by Young.

Shots could have doubled their lead soon after, Reid just failing to connect with another Tonkin free kick. From that point on, they safely negotiated their way to the break, often frustrating the home fans by taking a little too much time to restart play from free kicks and throw ins.

Plymouth struck the first blow of the second half on 50 minutes, Conor Hourihane's shot was on target, but was inadvertently blocked on route to goal by Shots goalscorer Troy Brown.  

However, this current Shots team is a resilient bunch and three minutes later they doubled their lead. Rankine was bundled over as he drove confidently into the penalty area and Josh Payne stroked home the spot kick to make it 2-0 Shots.

Happy with what he had at that stage, Holdsworth brought on Doug Bergqvist for Mekki and changed his sides shape to a 4-5-1. Craig Reid pulled out wide and Payne moved to a slightly more advanced position in the centre. Reid was then replaced in the 85th minute, by Miles Anderson, Shots new loanee from Blackburn Rovers.

The final notable event of the match was a 92nd minute debut for 17 year old Harry Cooksley. Josh Payne made way and a couple of minutes later it was all over.

Shots targetted a top seven place this season and ironically, as the final whistle blew, that's where they find themselves after the first round of matches.

Shots: Young Herd Brown Bradley Tonkin Mekki (Bergqvist) Payne (Cooksley) A.Morris Rodman Reid (Anderson) Rankine. Subs not used: G.Morris Roberts Madjo Connolly      

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