Goal glut at Nyewood Lane - but not the sort fans hoped for

The young Rocks put Aldershot under pressure, but couldn't force a goal / Picture by Tommy McMillan
The young Rocks put Aldershot under pressure, but couldn't force a goal / Picture by Tommy McMillan

Rocks fans turned up hoping for a goal glut when the U19 side hosted Aldershot Town in the Alliance League Cup encounter at Nyewood Lane.

They got goals; four of them. The trouble was none were scored by the home side as the visitors chalked up an impressive 4-0 victory.

Having emphatically dispatched Corinthian Casuals 10-0 in the previous round, it wasn't beyond the realms of credulity to expect the young Rocks to turn in a confident display. Indeed, they started well enough and were unlucky to go into the break 1-0 down after enjoying lots of possession. Much like the first team at present, they couldn't manage to turn possession into goals at crucial points of the game.

They fell behind after 15 minutes, against the run of play, when Town's John Black found a way past Oliver Howley in goal. Undeterred Bognor rolled up their sleeves and looked for a leveller, with Liam Brady, Jamie Carroll, Joe Clarke and Jack Hands, especially, catching the eye. It was Hands who almost snaffled an equaliser with a powerful header on 35 minutes but hugely impressive Shots No.1 Ryan Hall repelled the effort.

The challenge was obvious come the second half; snatch an early goal against a disciplined, strong and unified Aldershot outfit and make cup tie of it. But sadly, the home side seemed lethargic and lacked concentration, rhythm and a certain cohesiveness.

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Aldershot, sensing the fragility within the home ranks, redoubled their efforts and stunned Bognor when they went 2-0 up on 49 minutes when Nico Hounto netted. Simba Kudyiwa cashed in on confusion in the box from a corner and bundled home for 3-0 after 57 minutes, before Mitchell Smith put the tie beyond question with a strike for 4-0 nine minutes later.

And so, it proved to be a frustrating game for a team who played well within themselves. But there is plenty of talent in the Rocks squad and if they can harness the hurt from this loss and turn it into resolve, they'll soon bounce back.