Aldershot Town never really got going in their midweek 1-0 defeat at Welling United
The county of Kent may be known as the Garden of England but Aldershot Town’s first ever visit to Park View Road was anything but a bed of roses for Andy Scott on Tuesday night as his side went down 1-0 at Welling United.
With his side unbeaten in four matches and looking to build on an excellent home performance against Wrexham on Saturday, the Shots boss had every reason to harbour high expectations as he looked to steer his side out of the Skrill Premier relegation zone.
But instead of leaving in full bloom, Scott was left with mud on his face as the Shots put in another disappointing away display which never looked like grounding the high-flying Wings.
Alex Dyer’s 15th-minute strike for Welling proved the difference between the two sides, but in truth it could have been more as the Shots rode their luck on occasions.
Yet Scott’s men twice almost salvaged a share of the spoils in a frantic final 10 minutes when Brett Williams was thwarted by keeper Lee Butcher when through on goal, while Lewis Young’s effort from a tight angle was hacked off the goal line by fellow sub Loick Pires.
As a frustrated Scott pointed out, each one of Aldershot’s four defeats this term has been by a solitary goal.
But the Shots boss insisted it was no coincidence – citing his side's inability to start matches on occasions as a major frailty.
“We just didn’t start well enough,” Scott said. “We played so well on Saturday and we thought we could come here and do the same from the start.
"But you can’t, you've got to earn the right to play and win your battles first.
“We’ve lost four games 1-0 now, three away from home, where we haven’t started properly. You don't win points at places like this if you are not at it.
“Their midfield won more second balls than ours and their back four dominated our front three, but I felt sorry for our back four, I thought we were excellent defensively again but there’s not a lot you can do when the ball keeps coming back down your throat.
“It was chalk and cheese from Saturday, it’s consistency of performance.
"We didn’t really have any passages of play in the opposition half because we were so anxious to score a goal we kept giving the ball away in silly areas trying to force it. We didn’t do that on Saturday and that was the difference.”
With right-back Joe Oastler back from injury and Jordan Roberts adding steel to the left flank, Shots were well equipped for the physical opening they expected, but still it was Welling who settled the quickest with Blaine Hudson squandering the first chance of the night, heading Jack Obersteller’s cross just off target.
And wearing their new all-blue strip for the first time, it was not long before the Shots were left feeling the blues when Welling took the lead.
Ross Laffayette broke down the left and his cross was headed away by Chris Barker to Lee Clarke 20 yards out. His scuffed effort back into the box fortuitously fell to the feet of Dyer, who spun and swept the ball home into the top corner.
Aldershot, though, came mighty close to levelling within two minutes when Mark Molesley was felled just outside the box, but Matt Paterson’s curling free kick flew inches wide of upright.
Welling, however, still looked the most threatening with Loui Fazakerley’s curling cross-cum-shot from out on the right forcing a fine tip over the bar from Glenn Morris, while Kurtis Guthrie also went close with a near-post header from Fazakerley’s centre.
A recurrence to his hamstring injury saw Oastler withdrawn at half time and replaced by Martin Rowlands, but still Welling looked the more likely with Fraser Franks having a close-range header scrambled off the line and Dyer seeing his glancing header from Joe Healy’s cross drift narrowly wide.
The introduction of the lively Young sparked a late rally by Shots – but it soon became clear it was not to be their night.
First, Roberts put Williams through with an exquisite ball over the top but after turning inside Franks, the Shots’ top scorer could only find the legs of the on-rushing Butcher.
And then, after Molesley had seen a mazy run and effort blocked by Lee Clarke, Barker floated over a free kick from the left, Adam Webster’s header was deflected off target to Young on the right-hand byline, but his driven goal-bound effort was desperately hacked clear by Pires.
“We had a couple of chances, yes, but we didn't get the ball up there enough,” Scott added. “It was a bitty performance really.
“We know we can do it, it’s about believing we can. Hopefully this is a blip and we can get back on Friday to how we were the last four games.”
ALDERSHOT: Morris, Oastler (Rowlands 46), Barker, Goodman, Webster, Stanley, Molesley, Oyeleke, Roberts, Paterson (Young 71), Williams. Subs: Wickham, Gibbs, L Williams.
Ref: Rob Whitton. Att: 837 (284 away).