New hero from Spain is easing Shots' painBy Jon Couch
November 22, 2012
DEAN HOLDSWORTH saw his resurgent Aldershot Town rediscover the winning formula on the road – and then vowed to repay the long-suffering home fans on Saturday.
The vastly-improved Shots have now gone four matches unbeaten away from home but are being held back by their dismal form at the EBB Stadium, which has brought just five points and two goals from their nine league matches there so far this season.
So, in order to re-dress the balance, Holdsworth has ordered an open training session at the EBB on Friday morning (November 23) where fans and youngsters from local schools can go down and watch the Shots prepare for Saturday’s ultra tough visit of second-placed Port Vale.
“I want to work hard this week in front of our fans,” Holdsworth explained. “We are going to open the ground up on Friday and train on the pitch. Hopefully some of the fans can come down and watch the training session.
“We have a couple of schools coming down and we want to build confidence in front of our fans and score goals at home.
“I have had a think about things. It is a different initiative but we can get better if we are more confident at home."
At least Holdsworth’s men can greet the fans in high spirits after securing a thoroughly deserved 1-0 victory over play-off chasers Burton Albion on Tuesday night – a result which lifted them out of the League Two relegation places.
On-loan Spanish striker Dani Lopez followed up his maiden Football League goal at AFC Wimbledon on Saturday with a well-taken fourth-minute winner at the Pirelli Stadium to help continue Aldershot's steady climb from the depths of the elite 92.
And while he admitted there was still some way to go before the turnaround is complete, Holdsworth said he intended to enjoy the moment.
“We will move on from this but won't get carried away,” he said. "When you are winning it is great and when you lose you don't get it right.
“I am the first person to look at myself after every game, but we are pulling together and that is important, and the fans were fantastic too.
“The confidence is growing and we did some really good stuff out there. We created good chances and handled the pressure when required too.
“The pressure on the ball was vital because Burton score goals all across the pitch and they are a danger. The players listened to that and our fitness was excellent too. We have shown again that we can do it away from home.”
Unchanged from the side which drew 1-1 at AFC Wimbledon on Saturday, the Shots flew out of the blocks and almost got their noses in front as early as the second minute when Danny Rose fired wide following a well-worked Ben Herd free kick.
But the Shots were not deterred for long and within two minutes they got the goal they craved. Danny Hylton’s knock-on found the pacey Lopez, who raced through and slotted past Brewers keeper Dean Lyness into the bottom left-hand corner.
Flying high in the table, the Shots might have expected an onslaught from Burton thereafter but, in truth, it never really came as the visitors comfortably protected their advantage.
In fact, if anything, it was the Shots who came closest to troubling the scoreline next – Peter Vincenti, at the heart of most of their best moves, opened up the Burton defence with a mazy run midway through the half, but his shot flew narrowly over the bar.
Dangerman Chris Palmer came close for Burton with an effort from an acute angle which was well saved by Jamie Young, while the Shots stopper was forced into action again at the end of the half to keep out Matt Paterson’s header.
The second period began in much the same vein with Shots the more composed and looking the more likely scorers.
Hylton fired just wide before Lopez came agonisingly close to a second with a six-yard volley which forced Lyness into an outstanding reflex save.
Brewers boss Gary Rowett threw on striker Justin Richards and he almost had an instant impact when setting up Billy Kee, who in turn forced a low save from Young.
And with eight minutes to go, Damien McCrory’s throw-in caused mayhem in the visitors' box but Anthony Tonkin was on hand to clear a near-post header from substitute Jacques Maghoma off his own goal line to ensure the points remained safe.
ALDERSHOT: Young, Herd, Tonkin, Brown, Bradley, Morris, Rose, Vincenti, Cadogan (Sinclair 76), Hylton (Payne 90), Lopez (Rankine 77). Not used: Mekki, Donnelly, Seidi, G Morris. Ref: K Wright.