IT was arguably THE most disgraceful incident ever seen on a football field and one which could have dire consequences.
While the futures of both Ollie Adedeji and Mark Graham were discussed in crisis talks this week, caretaker boss Stuart Cash knows full well that two of the clubs most inoffensive and amiable characters might well have cost him his chances of taking the job on full time.
Just what happened at New Lodge on Saturday will probably never be revealed, but one thing is for sure, it brought shame on the club and must never happen again.
With the game just 27 minutes old and the Shots somewhat unfortunate to be 1-0 down, the pair occupying the right hand side defensive and wing back roles clashed after a rather meaningless attack broke down.
At first it looked harmless as the debate rolled on, but then came the moment which reduced the entire 1,052 on-lookers into utter silence.
Graham appeared to raise his head to Adedeji, who replied with a shove. Two more head-butts followed by both parties, each increasing with ferocity until Adedeji sent his team-mate sprawling to the ground with a right hook to the head.
Graham, sporting a cut to the forehead, rushed up to retaliate before being ushered away by both sets of players. Referee Tony Gurr then stepped in and had no option but to send them both off.
The pair continued to argue as they passed both bemused benches on their way to tunnel with Cash's face saying it all.
The nine men of Aldershot did their boss proud with a sterling performance from then on in, but the damage had been done.
Both players now face serious reprimand.
Cash said afterwards: "I was in total shock. I've never seen an incident like that in all my days in football. There was an incident where Mark Graham lost the ball facing our goal and obviously Ollie thought he should have done something with it.
"An argument ensued and the next thing you know they are throwing punches at each other. That can not happen!
"I'm not going to slam them in public, I don't think that's the way to deal with it. They will be dealt with internally, I've said my piece to them and we will deal with them on Monday morning.
"If you look at the two characters involved, you just wouldn't think it of them. This game is about discipline and the time to sort incidents like that out is in the dressing room or the next day — not on the pitch.
"As it was, it threw everything out of the window, our tactics, our shape, everything.
"But those nine other men and the three subs that came on can walk into this football club and be proud of themselves. I could ask no more of them."
When asked if the pair would ever play for Aldershot Town again, Cash added: "It's very hard for me to answer that at the moment, I would like to answer it, but to be fair to the two players, I feel it's best if the matter is discussed all together next week when we will make that decision."
The incident didn't do anything to cement the relationship between Cash and his former boss George Borg, which is now officially ‘dead'.
Various exchanges between the two since Borg resigned as Shots boss four weeks ago have proved too much for their friendship to take, and the Adedeji/Graham incident gave Borg fuel to add to the fire.
He said: "In the four years I was at Aldershot, I've never seen anything like that. The players seemed to go out there and take the law into their own hands. That wasn't Ollie Adedeji out there and that wasn't Mark Graham. Something has obviously gone wrong somewhere and I felt totally embarrassed for everyone at the club."
While Cash, quite rightly, was livid with his two strays, the other 12 (including subs) gave him plenty of positives to reflect on with a battling performance which could have even earned an unlikely draw.
In fact, but for the skill of Billericay striker Joe Baker, scorer of both goals, it could have been a completely different story.
Baker, back in the side after being rested for the last couple of weeks, took just 20 minutes to make his mark when he latched onto a flick on from Kelechi Opara, ghosted past Owen Coll on the edge of the box and slotted home neatly into the corner.
The goal came slightly against the run of play as the Shots shaded the frenetic early stages.
Indeed, they might have scored on three minutes, courtesy of Stafford Browne's looping shot on the turn which ricocheted off the top of the bar.
The eleven versus eleven showed promising signs of generating a thrilling contest. Lee Holsgrove just shaved the outside of the post with a rasping 22-yard volley, before Lee Williams saw a similar effort suffer the same fate at the other end.
Not surprisingly, the incident cast a shadow of gloom over the New Lodge with the shell-shocked fans witnessing the game slowly deteriorate. Lee Protheroe took over at right back in place of sacrificed striker Grant Payne and Cash's tactics looked to be reduced to damage limitation.
From then on, however, his men did him proud. They defended resolutely when they had to, ran their socks off in midfield and even gave the home side a few scares at the other end.
And in Paul Harford and Holsgrove, they had two of the game's star men, both covering every blade of grass.
Keeper Gareth Howells also had an inspirational afternoon. As the Shots pushed forward, gaps naturally appeared, but Howells was equal to everything.
Twice he denied Opara from close range with lightning reaction saves, while saving his best stop of the afternoon for Williams, acrobatically tipping his fierce 25-yard drive over the top.
The dogged Shots did manage to force pressure of their own with set pieces proving their most potent weapon. The closest they come to an equaliser was on 66 minutes when Coll's giant throw-in from the left took a deflection off a number of bodies only for Chris Moore to head clear from under his own crossbar.
But with the clock ticking down, the Shots were finally caught out. Protheroe's free kick into the box was cleared to Opara, he set Baker free on the half-way line and the jinking menace polished off a classic counter attack by slotting past Howells.
More controversy was to follow deep into injury time when Opara was dismissed for a second bookable offence but it meant precious little.
Cash was proud of his 12 warriors, the other two need take one long hard look in the mirror.
BILLERICAY: King; Cole, Opinel, Woolsey (sub Snowsill 64mins), Moore, Carthy, Baker, Williams, Dickinson, Opara, Henty. Subs: Morris, Savidge.
SHOTS: Howells; Parker (sub Watson 71mins), Chewins (Gell 82), Kirby, Coll, Adedeji, Graham, Harford, Browne, Payne (Protheroe 30), Holsgrove.
Ref: Tony Gurr. Att: 1,052.
Stuart Cash is hoping to land a deal this week to sign Yeovil's giant keeper Steve Collis.
Gareth Howells is suffering with a knee and ankle injury and needs to be rested.