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Aldershot 2-2 Nuneaton Town

"The second half was everything that we want,” said Andy Scott

Andy Scott

Andy Scott heaped praise on his side's battling qualities after Aldershot Town fought back from 2-0 down to claim a precious point in their fight for survival.

The Shots looked down and out at half-time after a Gavin Cowan header and James Armson penalty put play-off chasing Nuneaton in firm control.

But after making a double substitution at the break, boss Scott saw a much improved performance after the break with namesake striker Josh Scott and Martin Rowlands earning a potentially vital share of the spoils.

"The second half was everything that we want,” Scott said. “In fairness to both sides, I don't think there was that much in it first half, but we didn't cope with their direct play.

"We lacked urgency and didn't play with the zing that we usually do, but Nuneaton are very good at what they do.

"It would have been easy for us to fold at half-time, but there was no shouting and screaming, just setting out what we needed to do.

"No-one likes making changes at half-time like we did, and they either work or they don't.

"But from the first minute of the second we were better and we stood up and showed our mettle. It's a valuable point for us and one we deserved in the end."

Both sides traded blows in an extremely open first half but Aldershot's Achilles heel of defending set-pieces came back to haunt them again when Anthony Tonkin needlessly brought down Andy Brown in the right corner, Danny Sleath swung the ball in and Cowan leapt unchallenged to home home at the far post.

Three minutes from half-time it got even worst for the Shots when David Hibbert got the wrong side of Adam Webster in chasing down an attack of head tennis in the Aldershot penalty box, promoting the Shots defender to pull him down and Armson sent the returning Glenn Morris the wrong way from the spot.

Scott's response was to dispense with the disappointing Webster and Dan Butler and replace them with Oastler and Josh Scott at the break and the Shots came out with purpose.

And their pressure finally paid dividends on 63 minutes when Gibbs' long ball forward bounced over a dithering Gareth Dean and Scott nipped in to apply a fabulous finish into the corner.

Mark Molesley - on as a sub and back from a month-long spell on the sidelines with a calf injury -

added extra spark and always set up Scott for a second, but the former Dagenham forward fired wide from ten yards.

The Shots, though, weren't to be denied and sent the home crowd into raptures with a valuable equaliser eight minutes from time. Tonkin's cross from the left was only half-cleared to Craig Stanley, who cleverly laid off for Rowlands to volley sweetly into the corner for his first goal for Aldershot.

Molesley almost won it for the Shots late on with a shot which stung the palms of Belford, but given the circumstances, one point felt like three and with the Shots just two points off safety with a game in hand on rivals Chester, survival is still in their own hands.

 

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