Aldershot Town survive Hendon FA Cup scareBy Dan Cooper
November 05, 2012
RELIEVED Aldershot Town boss Dean Holdsworth hailed his side’s character after the Shots left it late to come from behind and ease past non league Hendon 2-1 and into the second round of the FA Cup.
It was by no means a classic performance from the Shots, but it nevertheless stretched their unbeaten run to three games and set up a tough trip to League Two high-fliers Fleetwood Town, where they were thrashed 4-1 earlier in the season.
An upset looked on the cards as Hendon’s Dean Cracknell silenced the home faithful just before the half-hour mark when he sent a brilliant 30-yard effort past home debutant Glenn Morris.
The excellent Danny Hylton brought much relief to the frustrated EBB Stadium though, by levelling shortly before the hour when he headed past keeper Berkley Laurencin.
And Hylton then capped an excellent individual display by adding a second six minutes from time to save Aldershot's blushes and seal only a second home win of the season.
But Holdsworth admitted he made his feelings known as his side were booed off following a torrid first-half display.
“What goes on in the dressing room will stay there, but there were some words because I was disappointed with the first half," he said.
“I am pleased because in the end we showed a lot of character. We’ve come back, passed the ball well and scored two good goals.
“I didn’t want to be in the headlines for this football club having a giant-killing. Congratulations to Hendon for playing their part, but I think we were convincing winners in the end.”
Shots came agonisingly close to taking an early lead, but Craig Reid saw his close range effort instinctively blocked by Laurencin, before Hylton’s follow-up struck the inside of the post.
However it was Hendon, who ply their trade three divisions below Aldershot in the Ryman Premier, who took a shock lead with a sublime long-range strike from Cracknell.
Whatever was said during that half-time dressing down clearly had the desired effect, as the Shots, after replacing Michael Rankine for Josh Payne, came flying out of the blocks for the second half with the instrumental Hylton the orchestrator behind most of their better moves.
And their persistence finally paid off just before the hour mark when Kieron Cadogan, also making his first start at home, sent over an inch-perfect cross and Hylton stooped low to head home the equaliser from 10 yards.
Shots almost saw their hard work undone when they allowed Hendon’s Elliott Braithwaite a free header, but fortunately for the home side he was off target.
When Hylton somehow headed a Danny Rose cross wide, it looked as though it was destined to be another frustrating afternoon.
However, with the prospect of a replay looming, Hylton stole in front of his marker to convert Craig Reid’s cut back to the relief of the Shots faithful.
ALDERSHOT: G Morris, Herd, Tonkin, Brown, Rankine (Payne 45), Hylton, Vincenti, Reid (Donnelly 85), Bradley, Cadogan (A Morris 90), Rose. Not used: Young, Anderson, Munns
Ref: Simon Hooper. Att: 1,882 (188 Hendon).