How we use Cookies

Kirby gives Shots the points

A SECOND half strike from Captain Marvel Ryan Kirby handed the Shots three hard-earned points but it wasn't sufficient to wholly convince the barracking supporters.

A SECOND half strike from Captain Marvel Ryan Kirby handed the Shots three hard-earned points but it wasn't sufficient to wholly convince the barracking supporters.

Kirby rose highest to nod home Mark Graham's 61st minute corner - and it proved enough to see off gallant Chesham and seal a morale-boosting win.

But before the visitors even had time to kick off after Kirby's goal, the cheering from the stands sadly turned to "Borg out" chants and the sight of a giant banner stating similar views.

It was a pattern which Borg and the boys had to endure all afternoon in an otherwise subdued atmosphere at the Rec, and with the board of directors keeping silent on the outcome of a crisis meeting just hours previous, it made for a very impressive victory.

The boss may have felt like being in a no-win situation, but could afford a smile as he left the Rec on Saturday evening, knowing that his players had done him proud in the face of adversity.

Just 1,541 - the lowest Saturday crowd at the Rec for quite some time - turned up to watch this potentially- explosive top-of-the-table encounter which never really got off the ground.

The passing of a morning pitch inspection said wonders for the conditions, so in retrospect, it was hardly surprising that despite the obvious talent on view, this was more likely to be a game won by the team who battled the hardest and wanted it more.

It was pleasing to see, therefore, it was Aldershot, and no-one could deny them a deserved victory.

Chesham boss Bob Dowie obviously come with a game plan to keep it tight on the break and use speedy former Shots striker Wayne Andrews as the catalyst for a quick counter attack.

Well aware of the threat Andrews posed, Borg opted for a similar 3-5-2 formation, relying on the added class, which, on paper, the Shots had on show.

Borg also decided to make wholesale changes from the team which lost to Canvey Island last Saturday. Leon Townley was dropped altogether and Lee Protheroe was relegated to the subs bench, while Richard Gell came in for his first league start since September and fit-again Grant Payne slotted into the front line alongside Stafford Browne.

The other surprise was the inclusion of Mark Watson to the bench despite his recent sufferings of a groin strain.

Playing with a point to prove, the Shots started busily with Jason Chewins, in particular, sparkling in his left wing back role.

Chewins had the first opportunity of the game on seven minutes - latching onto good work from Gell and Adam Parker before forcing a good save from Chesham keeper Delroy Preddie at his near post.

Kirby, too, had Preddie at full stretch to deny him from 18 yards.

But the threat Chesham posed was always evident, and but for alert goalkeeping from Gareth Howells, it could have led to the opening goal.

After watching Andrews shoot into side-netting in his first burst of pace of the game, Howells pulled off super saves to deny Richard Goddard from point blank range after Victor Renner had raced through down the left flank, and then the dangerous Lee Spiller, whose 20-yard cheeky chip almost caught him unawares.

But the best chance of the half came at the other end just seconds before the break when Graham broke clear and sent in an inch-perfect cross which Payne could only divert wide with an acrobatic diving header.

A rather uneventful second half ensued with both teams content on keeping their defences in check. Andrews was well shackled throughout by the excellent Owen Coll, but for a split second just five minutes after the re-start when his slightest touch on Goddard's flick-on forcing Howells into a superb tip around the post.

But on the stroke of the hour, the Shots bagged the all-important opener.

Graham's corner from the left was angled towards the near post and Kirby dived in where it hurts to glance the ball across the stranded Preddie and inside the far post.

The Chewins/Renner battle on the flank provided the best action from there on in but it was that 30ft banner reading "Borg Must Go" which contributed to a rather subdued ending as the Shots held on.

It wasn't the prettiest but it didn't need to be — three points was the object and three points the result.

Other issues surrounding the victory may be open for discussion but Borg will fight on regardless.

SHOTS: Howells; Gell, Chewins, Kirby, Coll, Adedeji, Graham, Harford, Payne, Browne, Parker. Subs not used: Watson, Forrester, Protheroe.

Ref: Irvine Woodward (Kent). Att: 1,541.


Charlotte Neal
Chief Reporter (Aldershot)
Joshua Smith
Farnborough Reporter
Jon Couch
Sport Editor
Stephen Lloyd
Fleet & Yateley Reporter
Ros Collins
Junior News & Mail
Full newsroom contact details
Tell us what's happening in your area