Aldershot 'win ugly' to claim 60-year club recordBy Jon Couch
March 05, 2012
CAPTAIN Ben Herd hailed Aldershot Town's ability to "win ugly" as his side romped to a new club record.
Never before in their 60-year association with the Football League have the Shots recorded six straight league victories.
But Guy Madjo's bullet 26th-minute header rewrote the history books and kept the Shots to within touching distance of the play-off contenders.
Unlike the thumping win over Barnet just seven days previous, this was far from a vintage performance from Dean Holdsworth's men in a game which will be remembered more for its significance rather than for the quality of football on show.
But skipper Herd, sporting blood stains from the nosebleed sustained when the ball hit him square in the face in the final few minutes, insists the ability to pick up maximum points from an under-par display is an essential quality for any top side to have.
"Sometimes you have to win ugly and today was an illustration of that," the right-back said. "We went up to their place earlier in the season, had 70 per cent of the possession, played some good football and got beaten 2-0. Football doesn't always work how it should, so we're just pleased to come away with the result.
"It wasn't a great game but we feel when we get the ball down and play we can be a match for any team. The lads thoroughly deserve the record purely due to their attitude and work rate since the turn of the year. There's a really good camaraderie and feel-good factor about the place at the moment."
Holdsworth bucked the trend of recent weeks and opted to start with a 4-4-2 and, in truth, the Shots took time to settle into a rhythm.
Danny Hylton fired over from a good position and then saw his half volley from 25 yards out drift wide.
But on 26 minutes, they finally got the breakthrough. Herd played a quick free-kick wide to Aaron Morris on the right and he floated over a delicious cross for Madjo to powerfully head home into the top corner from 15 yards out.
The Shots were then fortunate not to concede five minutes later when Stuart Drummond's deflected effort from Izak Reid's corner was hacked off the line by Josh Payne with keeper Jamie Young beaten.
Holdsworth reverted back to his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation at the break, but still his side were unable to find their full flow.
Peter Vincenti and Troy Brown tested keeper Barry Roche from distance, while Young had to be alert to ensure Chris McCready's back header came to nothing at the other end.
But just when the Shots looked to be holding on comfortably, Brown lunged in on Morecambe substitute Danny Carlton in the first minute of stoppage time. Referee Keith Stroud was right on the spot and wasted no time in brandishing the red.
The numerical disadvantage prompted a frantic five minutes of time added on, but the Shots held on to complete the club record - much to the relief of the EBB faithful.
Assistant boss Matt Bishop said: "Credit to the players. They deserve it over the six matches. There is a difference in the mentality and you can see that in the lads today.
"You can't always play well all of the time and we started slowly but these players believe in themselves and they are starting to be able to grind results out which is important."
ALDERSHOT: Young, Herd, Straker, Jones, Bradley, Morris, Brown, Payne (Smith 81), Vincenti, Hylton (Mekki 60) Madjo (Risser 73). Not used: Murphy, Connolly.
Ref: Keith Stroud. Att: 2,381 (59)