Holdsworth rues luck as Shots suffer at home againBy Ed White
November 26, 2012
DEAN HOLDSWORTH bemoaned key decisions not returning in his Aldershot side’s favour after he saw them fall back into the League Two relegation zone.
The Shots’ dismal home form continued at the hands of high-flying Port Vale despite an encouraging first-half performance which saw loan signing Dani Lopez score his third goal in as many games.
But the match hinged on two refereeing decisions, both of which fell the way of the visitors. Danny Hylton seemed to be pushed by Vale goalkeeper Chris Neal away from play, but despite the assistant having a clear view no action was taken.
Then with 15 minutes to go, the visitors were awarded a penalty after Troy Brown was alleged to have missed the ball with a slide challenge.
“Danny says the goalkeeper has pushed him over in the area and you can’t raise your hands,” Holdsworth said.
“If the referee didn’t see it, then he didn’t see it. You’ve got to take that but at the moment key moments like that have been going against us. I also didn’t think the penalty was a penalty. He played the ball.”
Hylton said Neal should have seen red, adding: “It was a bit silly from him and you can’t get away with it. He jumped up and he’s pushed me in my chest and it’s winded me a bit.”
Holdsworth reserved praise for his goalscorer and said he felt the players had given everything and deserved something from the game.
“If I can get him [Lopez] really fit we’ll have a good loan signing,” he added. “We saw a very clinical side in Port Vale but I thought we matched them and gave them more in the first half.
“It was disappointing to concede early in the second half and the timing of that goal was important for us.
“But the players have got some character, they’ve got a good team spirit about them and there were a lot of aspects from the game to be pleased for.”
Unchanged for the third game running, the home side started the better on a greasy surface, pressing their opponents and regularly finding Kieron Cadogan in space on the right wing.
But against the run of play the visitors took the lead just after the quarter-hour mark. Port Vale striker Ben Williamson worked a one-two well with Tom Pope to steal in and angle a shot in off the woodwork.
The home side attempted to maintain an authority on the game and the physicality of strikers Lopez and Hylton caused constant issues.
Their hard work paid off when Lopez struck the equaliser on the half-hour. The loan signing started the move with neat footwork on the halfway line before timing his run perfectly to meet a floated cross from Cadogan with a purposeful header.
The jubilant atmosphere at the EBB Stadium turned sour three minutes later when Neal pushed Hylton off the ball after an altercation on his clearance kick.
The Shots continued to press hard in the persistent rain until the half-time break, but all their work was undone inside a minute of the restart as Vale capitalised on sluggish defending.
The impressive Tom Pope climbed highest and his header looked destined for the bottom corner, only to be thwarted by a spectacular save from Jamie Young. But the rebound fell straight to Burge after he slipped his marker and he made no mistake from three yards out.
A response was required from the home side and Danny Rose nearly equalised with a curled free kick which sailed narrowly wide.
But with 15 minutes to go, Heywood awarded the controversial penalty against Brown after he slid in to challenge Jennison Myrie-Williams.
Myrie-Williams stepped up to send Young the wrong way and all but seal the three points.
Holdsworth threw on Adam Mekki and Rob Sinclair to try and conjure some attacking craft and the changes nearly paid dividend when Mekki skipped past two players only to cross straight into the goalkeeper’s hands.
The move ultimately showed the clinical gulf between the two sides and Shots were left to rue sloppy defending as they again failed to collect points at home.
Aldershot: Young, Herd, Tonkin, Morris (Payne 82), Brown, Hylton, Vincenti, Bradley, Cadogan (Mekki 77), Rose (Sinclair 80), Lopez. Subs: Bergqvist, G Morris, Roberts, Hector.
Ref: Mick Russell. Att: 1,992 (234).