No laughing matter as Shots hit wrong notes againBy Jon Couch
February 14, 2013
IN the shadows of the smart new Globe Arena stadium, standing proud on the seafront, lies the infamous statue of Eric Morecambe – the Lancashire town’s most famous son.
Comic genius indeed. I mean, who can forget the legendary sketch with Andre Previn where Morecambe, seated at the grand piano and criticised for playing the wrong notes by the world-renouned composer, steps up, grabs him by the lapels and replies: “I am playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order”.
Strangely, that pretty much sums up Aldershot Town’s situation right now.
Without playing that badly, Dean Holdsworth’s men find themselves with no league win in five and rooted in the League Two relegation zone, facing a crucial battle ahead.
“Bring me sunshine” belted out Morecambe in his signature tune – well, Holdsworth might as well be singing from the same hymn sheet right now.
For 72 minutes the Shots more than matched their hosts, only to be punished by an individual mistake from Oliver Risser and a late sucker punch, deeming Danny Hylton’s injury-time effort as mere consolation.
It may leave the Shots in a perilous position at the wrong end of the table, but with 15 games to go, you can rest assured the boss won’t be pressing the panic button just yet.
In fact with his focus now turning on another big week for the club, starting with a trip to Cheltenham Town on Saturday followed, crucially, by the visit of Torquay United to the EBB Stadium on Tuesday night, he can still manage to raise a smile – much like the acclaimed Eric Morecambe.
Holdsworth told the News & Mail: “We know we are capable of getting out of this. There are 15 games to go, a lot of points on offer and there are teams around us on losing form.
“We were strong to the point where an individual mistake cost us and it overshadowed the performance of the team.
“The lads are hurting because of the defeat but not the performance.
“We all need to pick ourselves up as we are not getting our just rewards at the moment. We are all working our socks off to put things right, and I just hope that our fortunes start to change soon.”
Matching the physicality of their hosts was clearly the plan with Holdsworth bringing back Asa Hall to his starting line-up at the expense of off-colour frontman Craig Reid, while Hylton occupied the lone striker role.
If anything the Shots have looked more comfortable on the road in recent months than they have at the EBB Stadium and this looked no different. They stayed solid throughout an intriguing first half and but for a bit of luck in front of goal they might have gone into the break in front.
Roared on by a healthy band of die-hards, who braved the five-hour trip to the north-west, the Shots soon settled down and came mighty close to breaking the deadlock twice in the space of two minutes.
First, the lively Keiron Cadogan saw his deflected cross fall kindly at the feet of Hylton, but he somehow skewed his shot on the turn wide of the Morecambe goal.
Then, seconds later, Peter Vincenti let fly from 20 yards only to be denied by a fine diving save from Barry Roche in palming it round the post.
The Shrimps, however, came even closer to troubling the scorers in first-half stoppage time when a half-cleared corner fell to Nick Fenton, who promptly headed against the crossbar before volleying the rebound high over the top.
Even then, the Shots looked in little danger and more than held their own in the third quarter, limiting the hosts to precious little in the way chances, although not really threatening themselves at the other end.
All that changed, however, on 72 minutes when the Shrimps took the lead. Ryan Williams swung over a corner to the far post for Stewart Drummond to head back into the danger zone where Risser inadvertently headed past Young.
Holdsworth’s response was to introduce wide men Lionel Ainsworth and Adam Mekki for Cadogan and Risser but still they couldn’t find the breakthrough.
And their misery was compounded five minutes from time when the Shrimps doubled the advantage. Williams stung the palms of Young with a stinging 20-yard effort and Gary McDonald got the wrong side of Troy Brown to steer the rebound home from eight yards.
To their credit, the Shots kept plugging away and finally got their rewards two minutes into injury-time when Hylton slotted home coolly from close range following good work from Vincenti, but it was too little, too late, ensuring it was, typically, Morecambe who had the last laugh.
SHOTS: Young; Herd, Bradley, Brown, Tonkin, Cadogan (Mekki 81), Rose, Risser (Ainsworth 81), Vincenti, Hall (Reid 61), Hylton. Subs not used: G Morris, McNamee, Forbes, A Morris. Ref: T Bates.