Shots at the double!

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Stockport County’s dismal record against Aldershot continued yesterday as goals from newbie Craig Tanner and striker Mo Bettamer (who assisted the Shots first goal) earned the hosts a much needed three points and created a double over an opponent for the first time in a couple of years.

Many had feared a low turnout after the Torquay FA Trophy debacle but just like the Notts County game when the true faithful turned up, yesterday saw a gate of just below 2000 and according to most who went, the East Bank was rocking and it was a really good atmosphere with 202 Hatters fans  having travelled down.

With a record of no wins in twenty five against the Shots…

In total Stockport have visited The Rec 25 times (all league games, we’ve never met in the cup) and never won.
The full record is;

P25….W0…..D6…..L19….F20…..A65

Thats one humdinger of a BAD record.

(credit Ian Rust on ShotsWeb for the above)

…and up against my atrocious record of having seen just two Shots wins in fifteen games AND with Richard Hulme in charge again, small wonder then that I chose to stay at home… and of course it worked!

The match reports now from both camps.

THE SHOTS WEBSITE

Aldershot Town returned to winning ways when they overcame Stockport County in a 2-1 result at The EBB Stadium on Saturday.

Craig Tanner scored coolly on his home debut to give the Shots a lead going into half-time.

Devante Rodney levelled the score early in the second period before Mohammed Bettamer restored the lead after an offside consultation between the officials.

Danny Searle handed Tanner his home debut following his first 90 minutes in 22 months last weekend against Torquay United. He also made four changes in total from the side the were knocked out the FA Trophy last weekend. Myles Anderson, Kodi Lyons-Foster, Alefe Santos and Alfy Whittingham made way for Ethan Chislett, Alex Finney, Max Hunt and Lewis Walker.

The first chance in the game came 23 seconds in. It fell to Elliot Osbourne 12 yards out in space after good work from Tom Walker on the left but he spooned it over the top while falling backwards.

After four minutes, the home team managed to assert some pressure. Lewis Walker and Max Hunt both came close, but not close enough in this time.

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Walker was unable to score when Ben Hinchcliffe denied him on the left-hand-side 16 minutes in, but the forward was in seconds later on that side to set up an even better opportunity. Walker played it inside to Mo Bettamer who held the ball up well before laying it off the home-debutant Tanner. The winger finished calmly, first-time into the bottom left corner.

Osbourne had another great chance half-an-hour into the match when Tom Walker found him at the back post again, but he was denied by his namesake in the Aldershot goal.

Mitch Walker denied Tom Walker again 7 minutes later. A brilliant run from Frankie Mulhern opened up the Shots defence. He laid it off for Tom Walker who was smothered at his feet by the Shots goalkeeper before he could get his shot off only 10 yards out.

A second goal for the Shots almost came from a Stockport foot with five minutes of the half to play. Tanner was found in space on the right-hand-side again and his touch towards goal was scooped only just wide of his own goal by Festus Arthur.

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Mitch Walker was called into action again, in quite a brilliant fashion right on the stroke of half-time when Jordan Keane had a go from 25 yards out. The effort was heading into the top right corner before the outstrethed arm of Walker tipped it over the bar.

Tanner had the first big chance of the second period in the 54th minute when he was found at the back post again, but he denied a second when his header was parried wide by Hinchcliffe.

Unfortunately, the next goal in the game was an equaliser. A free kick was swung in from the right-hand-side, the ball wasn’t cleared properly at the first attempt as it fell perfectly for Rodney to easily finish in the 57th minute.

Eight minutes later however, the home advantage was restored. It was Bettamer who stuck the ball in the back of the net from seven yards following a Kinsella cross, but initially the linesman flagged for offside. After a consultation with the referee, he gave the goal, deeming that the ball had been flicked off a Stockport player on its way through to Bettamer.

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Bettamer almost got his second with 12 minutes to play. Kinsella worked his way inside with a lovely bit of skill before digging out a cross. The striker was at the near post but his header was directed agonisingly past the post.

The Libyan could’ve had a hattrick when he was found by Tanner after some good build up on the right-hand-side, but the couldn’t find the target.

Aldershot Town XI: 1 M. Walker, 2 R. Tinkler, 3 L. Kinsella, 4 D. Rance, 15 A. Finney, 19 M. Bettamer (Whittingham 88′), 20 E. Chislett (Santos 72′), 24 L. Walker (Panayiotou 77′) 25 M. Hunt, 26 C. Tanner, 34 J. Powell

Unused Subs: Lyons-Foster, Shields

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STOCKPORT WEBSITE

The Hatters’ three-match sequence of pre-Christmas wins in all competitions came to an end at the Recreation Ground – a ground from which they have never emerged victorious in 26 attempts over the last 60 years – after Aldershot Town edged the encounter by the odd goal in three.

Devante Rodney’s strike shortly ahead of the hour cancelled out an early first-half opener from the ‘Shots’, who went on to claim all three points, and achieve a ‘double’ over County, through a winner that was awarded by Referee Richard Hulme after a flag had been raised for offside.

County took to the field on a mild mid-winter’s Hampshire afternoon, showing just one change from the line-up that had started the FA Trophy-tie against Blyth at Edgeley Park seven days earlier – with Sam Minihan recalled to the right-back berth in place of Dan Cowan. Nyal Bell and Sam Walker were named among the substitutes, having recovered from their respective hamstring and knee injuries.

The Hatters attacked from the outset, and could easily have gone ahead before half a minute had expired – but Tom Walker’s low cross from the left was skied over by Elliot Osborne, whilst off balance around the edge of the six-yard box.

Just four minutes later, Aldershot went close as an effort from Lewis Walker – one of four players bearing that surname across the two squads – was deflected around the right post by Ben Hinchliffe. And Max Hunt then headed beyond the same upright from the resulting corner.

Jordan Keane’s shot from 25 yards was cleanly caught by the hosts’ other Walker – goalkeeper Mitch – before namesake Lewis cut in from the left to sting the hands of Hinchliffe, with 14 minutes played.

Just past the quarter-hour mark, Lewis Walker made an even more telling contribution from the left flank – squaring to Mo Bettamer, who, in turn, picked out Craig Tanner in space to his right. The latter, making his home debut, finished cooly from 12 yards out to put the Shots ahead.

Mitch Walker punched clear Osborne’s far-post header from another Tom Walker cross on the left – before denying Tom Walker, following good work on the left by Frank Mulhern – and Osborne fired into the right side-netting, as County went in search of an equaliser. And at the other end, Aldershot’s advantage was almost doubled courtesy of a Hatter, when Festus Arthur’s attempt to  clear a Tanner shot saw the ball spin wickedly and narrowly to the right of his own goal.

With half-time imminent, Mitch Walker again came to the hosts’ rescue – as well as preserving their lead – by tipping over a 25-yard strike from Keane.

HALF-TIME: Aldershot 1 (Tanner, 16), County 0.

Eight minutes of the second half had passed, before Tanner executed an initial chance following the resumption – with Hinchliffe doing well to tip beyond the far post the home scorer’s header from a cross by Jack Powell on the left.

Four minutes later, the Hatters were back on level terms, after the Shots failed to deal with Osborne’s free-kick into their area – and the ball fell to Rodney, who slotted past Mitch Walker.

But within another eight, and controversially, the hosts’ advantage was restored when Bettamer converted Lewis Kinsella’s cross from the left. A linesman’s flag originally adjudged Bettamer offside – only for the Referee to over-rule his assistant and award the goal.

Kinsella and Bettamer combined again to go close with 13 minutes remaining, when the latter’s looping header from the former’s cross floated just wide of the right post. And Powell lofted a shot from the left that ended up on the top of the net. But Aldershot saw the game out to maintain an unbeaten record against the Hatters since the club’s reformation in 1992, leaving County to head home north empty-handed.

This win merely keeps our heads above water as the table shows.

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So a great result but remember I’ll be at Eastleigh on Boxing Day and they’ve just won at Bromley so the chances of us winning are as slender as a Pepperami!

But with half the season done and thirty points already in the bank, surely we have enough in our armoury to be avoiding the dreaded drop.

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