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Scott hails Shots bravehearts after Luton agony

Cameron McGeehan struck five minutes from time to break Aldershot hearts after a brave showing at runaway leaders Luton Town

Andy Scott was reassured by Aldershot Town's brave display in the 1-0 defeat at Luton

Andy Scott heaped praise on his brave Aldershot Town troops after they came within five minutes - and a miracle injury-time save - of earning a precious point at runaway leaders Luton Town.

The Shots  put in one of their best away displays of the season to frustrate the champions-elect until McGeehan popped up to bundle home a scrappy late winner to send the 8,500 home crowd into delirum.

But it could have been so different had Luton keeper Mark Tyler not pulled off an instinctive stop in injury time from his own defender Fraser Franks after substitute Harry Cornick whipped in a dangerous ball from the right.

As it was, McGeehan's effort added a further twist to both ends of the table with the Shots still one point adrift of safety at the foot, while Luton are now just a single win away from a return to the promised land of the Football League from where they belong.

The Shots are now setting their sat navs for two more away days this week - a trip to play-off chasing Alfreton Town on Tuesday followed by the long trek to Macclesfield Town on Saturday.

But yesterday's performance has given Scott plenty of encouragement for the final five matches of the season ahead and insisted that McGeehan's late strike had not done too much to dent confidence in the dressing room.

"It's obviously disappointing because we've put so much effort into that and, in fairness, we've had some good opportunities and good possession and they never really looked like hurting us.

"But the one time in the game we've allowed them to squeeze down the line to get a cross in, they've got a scrappy goal from it.

"At the end Mark Tyler has made an unbelievable save, how he's got to that I'll never know, but when things aren't going for you, that's what happens.

"We're disappointed because we felt we deserved something out of the game, but we've got to take the positives out of it. It's no good putting in a performance like that if we don't do it again at Alfreton and Macclesfield and if we do, with the same attitude and determination, we've got a real chance."

Boss Scott made three changes from the team which beat Hyde last Saturday with calf injury victims Chris Barker and Anthony Tonkin, plus Jordan Roberts, making way for Dan Butler, Joe Oastler and Martin Rowlands.

His line-up gave him plenty of flexibility but the one noticeable switch was the decision to start Adam Mekki up front alongside Josh Scott and the tricky winger saw plenty of the ball early on as the Shots started positively.

Josh Scott's 20-yard effort flew narrowly wide of the far post, while Luton - roared on by a now expectant Kenilworth Road crowd - were initially restricted to scraps.

Aldershot, however, were handed a lifeline when Luton had a freak own goal controversially ruled out for offside - Jaydon Gibbs stepping in to prevent Andre Gray's cross finding Paul Benson but his attempted clearance from 25 yards looped over the head of Glenn Morris and in off the underside of the bar, only to be saved, somewhat surprisingly, by the assistant referee's flag.

By now Luton were resurgent with Morris twice forced into fabulous saves to deny livewire striker Andre Gray, first with a point-blank stop from Luke Rooney's cross, then denying him in a one-on-one after his blistering pace took him past Joe Oastler.

Aldershot, however, were enjoying enough possession at the other end to earn respect from the leaders and after Mekki tested Tyler with a skidding near-post effort before the break, it was they who moved into the ascendancy into the re-start.

Mekki again saw an effort kept out by Tyler, while substitute Jordan Roberts scuffed a volley wide of the far post as they took the game to the leaders.

Naturally, there were some nervous moments at the other end too with Mark Phillips, in particular, forced to make some crucial interventions, notably from Benson at the near post, while Morris produced another fine close-range save to keep out the same player, who then blazed the follow-up high over the bar from an offside position.

But just when it looked like the Shots would deservedly hang on, disaster struck. Substitute Jake Howells wriggled his way down the left and swung the ball in low to the near post. McGeehan lunged in, under pressure by Gibbs, the ball ballooned up in the air and the Luton man was quickest to react to head home from two yards out. Cue mayhem.

But still the Shots weren't finished yet and the Luton party was almost brought to a grinding halt in the dying seconds when Cornick's centre was sliced goalbound by Franks, only for Tyler to make an instinctive save before the ball was scrambled clear It just wasn't to be their day.

Aldershot: Morris; Gibbs, Phillips, Oastler, Butler; Oyeleke, Stanley, Rowlands (Cornick 89), Molesley (Roberts 70); Mekki, Scott (Bubb 57). Subs: Gerrard, Williams.

Ref: Simon Bennett. Att: 8,558 (240).

 
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