Jack McNally joins Aldershot as they continue their fine form on the road.
Aldershot Town raced to a sixth consecutive game unbeaten on Saturday as they buried Maidstone United in a 2-0 win at the Gallagher Stadium, to push the Shots within two points of the final playoff spot.
A first-half strike from Kundai Benyu gave the visitors the lead, with a second-half strike from Jake Gallagher sealing the victory.
While Aldershot will take the win as a sign of good things to come leading into their game this weekend against Barrow, in truth it wasn’t the best performance from the Shots this season, as Maidstone were the more dangerous side.
Early in the first half it looked like the hosts had caught Aldershot napping at the back as they constantly filed the ball down the wings and rifled in crosses. Luckily for Aldershot, United were wasteful with the opportunities.
Their constant pressure seemed to be too much for the Shots back line as United players were able to continuously break into the box, making a Maidstone goal seem inevitable.
However, in the 19th minute after a fantastic run into Maidstone’s half and earning a free kick just outside the United box, Benyu rocketed the ball over the wall and dipped it right into the bottom left corner to give Aldershot a sorely needed 1-0 lead.
Despite being a goal down, United were still running at Aldershot with several powerful runs into the box that led to dangerously closes misses, prompting Shots keeper Jake Cole to scream in no uncertain terms at his defenders to tighten up and stop the Maidstone attacks.
It also didn’t help the Shots that when they did manage to dispossess a Maidstone player in the box, the ball seemed to bobble around before being cleared out of harm’s way.
The pattern remained much the same in the second half, as Maidstone whipped in a simple cross from a corner kick. Time and the Aldershot players seemed to stand still but Jake Cole made an unbelievable to keep out Jamie Coyle’s header.
Despite these heroics Aldershot again fell asleep during a corner, and once again it was Coyle waiting at the far post. But this time the ball took a bounce and his volley narrowly missed the bottom left corner.
This gave the Shots a real wakeup call and they responded brilliantly as Jonny Giles fought his way down the left side, floated in an excellent cross and Gallagher volleyed the ball expertly into the bottom right.
This win moved Aldershot up to sixth place. Another win this weekend could rocket them into a playoff spot. But while they will be hoping to carry their good form from this game over, it will be a very hard fought three points to earn as they face seventh-placed Barrow on Saturday at the Recreational Ground.