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Roberts misses sitter in Shots and Kidderminster stalemate

Winger misses an easy header in goalless draw in game of little excitement and quality

Jordan Roberts misses

VILIFIED Jordan Roberts missed his golden chance to make amends for his FA Trophy blunder after squandering a late chance which denied Aldershot Town a precious three points in their bid to survive relegation.

Academy starlet Roberts was pilloried by some sections of the ESS Stadium crowd after his reckless sending-off led to a dismal 4-1 quarter-final defeat at Havant & Waterlooville last month.

But when handed the opportunity of atoning for his error, the 20-year-old winger was left with his head in his hands again after heading Solomon Taiwo's inch-perfect cross wide of the far post with the goal at his mercy.

In truth, it was probably more than Andy Scott's men deserved in a dire game of very few chances and precious little quality as Kidderminster held on for the point they needed to climb back into the play-off places.

But with relegation rivals Chester and Southport fighting out an ideal 2-2 draw, it also represented another missed opportunity for the Shots to edge clear of the dreaded drop zone.

"Three points here would have been a massive boost for us," Scott admitted afterwards.

"But it's another game unbeaten and it's another point on the board. We haven't lost any ground on Southport or Chester and gained on Hereford and Tamworth are that's the positives we've got to take out of it.

"It's a clean sheet too and it's important that we are hard to beat because that will give us a great chance of picking up the points we need to stay up.

"We've had the better opportunities to score but if we'd have passed it better and shown a bit more quality on the ball we would have won the game.

"We played too many one-touch or stray passes and playing aimless balls, we were jaded to be honest.

"Having said that, Kidderminster are up there, it's a good clean sheet and we've picked up five points at home against three good sides. We'd have liked to have won the game, of course, but if can't win it then it's important you don't get beat and I thought we defended very well."

 And of Roberts' shocking 85th-minute miss, the boss added: "We don't help ourselves, we've got down the side, Solomon puts in a fantastic ball and Jordan's got to score, it's as simple as that. Those are the fine margins between winning and drawing games but there are plenty of positives to draw on as we look to Braintree on Saturday."

Boss Scott made three changes from the team which came back from 2-0 down to earn a point against Nuneaton on Saturday – Joe Oastler, Taiwo and Josh Scott promoted from the bench in place of Martin Rowlands, Dan Butler and Adam Webster, who was omitted from the squad altogether.

This was somewhat strange given that Aldershot's Achilles heel in recent weeks has been their defending from set-pieces and it almost cost them twice in the opening 16 minutes – firstly, when a short corner to Lee Vaughan found the towering Nathan Blissett, then when Danny Jackman's corner was met by Josh Gowling.

Both efforts, however, sailed harmlessly over.

But those fans who failed to make the televised Friday night trip to Aggborough for the first instalment between these sides back in September, could soon see how it ended in a dour goal-less draw as they continued to cancel each other out, creating a somewhat scrappy affair, confined mainly to the middle third of the pitch.

 Naturally, chances were certainly at a premium but it was Kidderminster who came closest to breaking the deadlock in the first half with Anthony Malbon firing a half-volley just wide of the far post.

Adam Mekki had Aldershot's real opening, firing a driven effort straight into the midrift of keeper Danny Lewis.

But like Saturday, Aldershot came out with renewed vigour after the break with Mekki finding space before curling a poor shot well over, while Vaughan was saved by his own keeper when slicing an attempted clearance from Jaydon Gibbs' centre.

Kiddy, though, did threaten with substitute Nick Wright twisting and turning Anthony Tonkin on the right only for his cross to evade the on-rushing Amari Morgan-Smith by a matter of inches, before the former Luton man caused panic with a well-executed overhead kick from 12 yards which just looped over the bar.

Again like Saturday, though, the introduction of Mark Molesley gave the Shots that little extra spark with Scott and Roberts both going close from left-wing centres, before the one big chance fell to Roberts five minutes from time.

Brett Williams, quieter than usual, won the race to a loose ball in the right hand corner, he rolled back to Taiwo, whose pin-point out-swinging cross found Roberts at the far post but he somehow steered his header wide of the far upright to keep the tension mounting.

 

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