Aldershot Town continued their promising start to the season by holding early pacesetters Forest Green in an entertaining Friday night encounter.

As fans commemorated the fifth anniversary of the death of popular former chairman John McGinty, the new regime gave the type of performance to make the jolly Irishman proud as Andy Scott's men once again proved more than a match to one of the division's most fancied sides.

A 37th minute penalty from Brett Williams gave the Shots a deserved lead at the break before a classic poacher's finish from wily hitman Lee Hughes gave the Gloucestershire  side a deserved share of the spoils.

In fact, Aldershot were left indebted to the heroics of goalkeeper Phil Smith, who denied the visitors three times from one-on-one  situations to earn his side a point and indeed the praise from his manager.

"Phil was absolutely outstanding," boss Scott said. "He did have a lot to do in the first half but when called upon in the second half he pulled off some fantastic saves from one-on-ones against some quality strikers and he's saved us.

"I think given the fact we were under a bit of pressure in the second half, a draw was a fair result. We were excellent in the first half, we moved the ball very well, but we knew they would come at us in the second.

"It was a good, entertaining game and was a good advert for the league. It also shows that we are coming on and I'm delighted with that."

Scott's men claimed a deserved lead on 37 minutes when Jordan Roberts had his ankles clipped right in the corner of the penalty box by the unfortunate David Pipe and Williams rifled the ball home from the spot for his third goal of the season.

Mark Molesley then produced a fantastic diving save from goalkeeper Sam Russell with a curling effort, but that only spurred on the visitors after the break with Smith pulling off a sublime one-handed save to keep out Hughes when through on goal.

The 38-year-old, however, wasn't to be denied ten minutes later. Smith was called upon again to produce another majestic stop to thwart Rob Sinclair, and form the resulting corner, the former Shots loanee swung the ball in for Hughes to expertly glance home at the near post.

Former Portsmouth keeper Smith completed a hat-trick of stops to deny Clovis Kamdjo bearing down on goal, but the Shots weathered the storm and might have stolen all three points late on but substitute Dan Fitchett could only hook Joe N'Guessan's centre wildly over the top from eight yards.

Aldershot: Smith; Gibbs, Wilson, Oastler, Barker (Tonkin 39); Miolesley (N'Guessan 64), Hatton, Lathrope, Roberts; Williams (Fitchett 79), Scott. Subs: Thomas, Derry.

Ref: Nick Kinseley. Att: 2,006 (99).