Aldershot Town 4-1 Fleet

The Shots hit four past the Fleet in what was a tough night for the visitors, with goals from Laurent Tolaj, James Daly and Ryan Glover cancelling out an early strike from Toby Edser on his return to his former club.

Danny Searle made one change to his side with Hayden White coming in for the injured Luke O’Neill while Franklin Domi returned to the bench.

It was White who blitzed a ball into the area from the right inside the opening five minutes to pick out former Shots man Edser who quickly latched on to the ball and fired it straight past Jordi Van Stappershoef.

Toby Edser wheels away after opening the scoring

The Fleet pushed on from that perfect start, the goalscorer next turning provider to slot a ball into the path of Ben Chapman whose first-time shot drew a diving save from Van Stappershoef. Josh Wright’s subsequent corner was met by the head of Declan Skura but again the Aldershot keeper was there.

Bryant Bilongo outmuscled Haji Mnoga in a race for a ball forward but Van Stappershoef again just nicked it and cleared the danger. Rakish BIngham also connected well with a shot but that didn’t find the target.

Aldershot soon got a foothold in the game and sprayed passes across the front line, claiming their first real chance when Ollie Harfield’s swift delivery picked out James Daly. His headed effort went marginally wide. The Shots thought they had the equaliser when Tolaj and Josh Stokes combined to slot the ball home but Stokes was beaten by the offside flag.

Back at the other end, a sharp interception from Edser allowed Chapman to gain ground and make a short run towards goal, his shot bouncing off the crossbar with a goal kick awarded despite strong claims for a corner.

The hosts capialised on that break by levelling the game on 35 minutes. A short corner to Glover worked its way across the area and eventually fell to Tolaj who ghosted in to fire home from close range.

It was a dominant end to the half from Aldershot and it was rewarded in added time. Tolaj earned his second of the evening from another corner kick that picked him out at the near post for a tap home to send the Shots in at the break in front. 

Rakish Bingham goes close in the first-half with a shot on goal

The Fleet got a sniff of an equaliser early in the second half when Dominic Poleon ran through to carry the ball around the goalkeeper but he was pushed wide and attempted to square it into the six-yard box but Van Stappershoef got back up to block. From almost getting the score back to 2-2, it was 3-1 straight away as a long ball upfield picked out Tyler Frost who played a ball across to Daly to stab home a third for the hosts.

Billy Clifford’s low shot from the corner of the area dragged wide and moments later, the Shots found themselves down to 10 men when Fleet got away on the break before play was pulled back and Mnoga was shown a straight red card in an incident that appeared to involve a kick out at Poleon. 

But that didn’t stop the hosts from grabbing a fourth. A neat break down the left gave Glover a chance with a run and shot from the edge of the area that skipped past Cousins.

There were a number of half chances for the Fleet with Bilongo and Edser trying to force a breakthrough while substitute Omari Sterling-James sent a free kick into the arms of the keeper.

Sterling-James picked out a cross into the box but it was too heavy for his fellow Fleet players and the Shots were able to clear their lines.

The Fleet’s recent unbeaten run came to an end as the hosts leapfrogged Searle’s side in the form table and all eyes turn to the home clash against Gateshead on Saturday.

EUFC: Cousins, White, Kenlock, Skura, Wright (Samuel), Clifford (Domi ), Chapman (Sterling-James), Bilongo, Edser, Bingham, Poleon. Subs: McQueen, Fogarty
ATFC: Van Stappershoef, Mnoga, Harfield, Harries, O’Keefe (Widdrington 88), Frost, Tolaj (Thomas 68), Stokes, Glover, Daly, Kadji (Ghandour 80). Subs: Scott, Barrett
Attendance: 2,377 (133 EUFC)

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