At this time of the year it’s often said that Wynter is upon us. And it came early as Eastleigh gave us an icy blast by equalising late on and snatching a share of the spoils at the Silver lake Stadium.
A couple of glaring issues from last season are still haunting us: conceding needless free-kicks and not seeing games out.
Chesterfield at home last term springs to mind as that should have been three points nailed, though that was down to running the ball into the corner and losing possession that day.
I think it’s something that the team should focus on in training much more, when those last ten minutes happen, to be aware collectively and not make the mistakes that cost us so dear.
Danny Searle made one change as Alex Finney made way for Kodi Lyons-Foster and Alfy Whittingham was in from the syrat which pleased me as well as others I’m sure.
The game was even in the opening ten minutes as Eastleigh had the first opportunity of the game when Sam Smart’s cross was met by the head of Cavaghn Miley and saved comfortably by Mitch Walker before Aldershot Town came close shortly after as Whittingham’s header went just over the bar after an impressive long-throw from Shadrach Ogie.
The momentum of the game was paused as Mo Bettamer went down following a strong aerial challenge from the Eastleigh defender. Following treatment, he was good to carry on.
Aldershot were having a good spell with a few half-chances falling their way with Whittingham having the best of them as his shot was blocked by a pair of Eastleigh defenders. Harrison Panayiotou also went close but he couldn’t beat the offside trap when his effort hit the post.
Shortly before half-time, referee Thomas Parsons made his first big decision of the game giving a penalty to Eastleigh as the ball appeared to hit the arm of George Fowler. Tomlinson stepped up and converted his penalty in the top right-hand corner to score his first goal for Eastleigh.
The penalty didn’t phase the Shots as they equalised straight after. Panayiotou won a free-kick in a promising position and Tanner stepped up to curl a delightful free-kick into the top right-hand corner just before the interval to score arguably one of the goals of the season so far.
Aldershot’s early pressure in the second-half paid off when they finally got the lead they deserved. Tanner showed his danger once again as he whipped in a dangerous cross to find Whittingham who was left unmarked to head home his first of the season.
Aldershot came close to a third just moments after when Panayiotou raced clear on goal but he could only fire straight at the keeper. Eastleigh were struggling early in the second half to deal with Aldershot’s frontline as they were almost punished by Tanner again who curled his effort off the inside of the post.
Substitute Dan Smith headed just over the bar for Eastleigh late on but Aldershot continued to put the pressure on the hosts as substitute Ross McCormack fired over the bar from a direct free-kick in a dangerous position.
Eastleigh pushed for an equaliser and their late pressure paid off when Wynter scored a header in injury-time to force a draw for the Shots.
I’ll happily take the point and move on to our next home league game against Torquay and see if we can kick on.
Sandwiched on between of course is that cup game at the EBB versus those tinpots up the road.
Speaking of tinpot, in the National League today both Wealdstone and Weymouth picked up victories. Here are the results: