Bees victory gets Aldershot Town buzzingBy Jon Couch
January 03, 2013
DEAN HOLDSWORTH hailed a “massive three points” as Aldershot Town kickstarted 2013 in winning fashion with a gutsy away display at Underhill.
Craig Reid's penalty two minutes into the second half ultimately decided a fiesty basement battle, but the Shots were pushed to the very limit by ten-man Barnet, who clearly didn't rue the dismissal of Jon Nurse for an ugly challenge on Dani Lopez.
Stand-in captain Jamie Young was once again magnificent between the sticks in helping the Shots to maintain their charge on a day when fellow strugglers Bristol Rovers and AFC Wimbledon both recorded crucial wins to keep the survival race bubbling.
“It's a massive win for us,” Holdsworth said. “I want us to keep pushing and I'm not going to apologise for pushing the players and striving for better. We need to be climbing this division, it's really important we do.
“Will anyone remember the game? Well, I might when I come to review it, but it was never going to be a classic today. Both teams are battling for survival so to come here and get a result against a Barnet side who have been in confident mood, it's a great result and I'm delighted.”
Holdsworth made one change to the side which drew with Bristol Rovers on Boxing Day – Danny Hylton rested to the bench with a slight groin strain so top scorer Reid took his place alongside Lopez up front.
Under the sole stewardship of legendary ex-Juventus and Tottenham man Edgar Davids following the sacking of his co-boss Mark Robson this week, the Bees showed early promise but kicking down the famous Underhill slope it was the Shots who carved out the early opportunities.
Lopez broke clear in the very first minute but his disappointing cut-back to Reid was easily intercepted before Reid himself glanced a header from Kieron Cadogan's free-kick straight into the arms of keeper Graham Stack.
Slowly though Barnet began to make inroads with Young twice called into action midway through the first half, first saving well from Ricky Holmes after a powerful run, then acrobatically parrying Nurse's fierce drive into the path of right-back Barry Fuller, who fired the rebound hopelessly wide.
Young was called upon with half-time approaching to keep out Andy Yiadom's effort at his near post, sparking an immediate response from the Shots – Reid twice testing the reflexes of Stack in the same move, latterly a header from Cadogan's whipped centre.
But with the second half barely two minutes old the Shots got the break they so desperately wanted. Sonny Bradley's shot in a packed penalty area struck the hand of Andy Iro, referee Carl Berry had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Reid made no mistake for his ninth goal of the season.
And it got even better for the Shots a minute later. Nurse's frustration got the better of him as he crudely scythed down Lopez from behind, sparking an almighty melee leaving referee Berry no option but to send him off.
But despite the numerical disadvantage, Barnet refused to roll over. Young was called upon to keep out Yiadom's pot shot in a packed area before the Shots got another big break when Jake Hyde stole in at the near post to fire home, only for the assistant referee to rule out his effort for offside, much to the fury of Davids and the home support.
Once the storm had been weathered, however, the Shots looked pretty comfortable and they came within a whisker of sealing victory in the final minute – Michael Hector threading through to substitute Hylton, but his shot on the turn came off the base of the post into the grateful arms of Stack.
In fact it almost proved to be a costly miss when, with the clock ticking down, Yiadom looked to have stolen a point for the Bees with a 20-yard lobbed effort which looked to be dipping under the crossbar but a back-tracking Young somehow managed to dramatically tip it over the bar to ensure the points.
ALDERSHOT: Young, Morris, Tonkin, Brown, Bradley, Hector, Rose, Vincenti, Cadogan (Sinclair 81), Reid (Hylton 82), Lopez (Mekki 60). Subs: Bergqvist, Madjo, Morris, Roberts. Ref: Carl Berry.
* Striker Guy Madjo has left Aldershot Town after failing to regain his place in Dean Holdsdworth’s first-team plans.
The 28-year-old Cameroon born player joined the club 12 months ago, scoring eight goals in 23 appearances.
He has recently returned after a three-month loan spell at Plymouth Argyle.
Holdsworth said: “I am unable to guarantee Guy a regular spot and he understands that but he wants to play.
“We have shaken hands and I wish him all the best for the future. This will also allow us to free some money in the transfer window”.
Meanwhile, Michael Hector has had his loan from Reading extended until January 29, while the Shots are also looking to agree a similar deal with Stevenage for Dani Lopez.
Michael Rankine has returned from a spell at Grimsby Town and is available for selection for Saturday’s FA Cup tie at home to Rotherham United.