WADDOCK’S BOYS KEEP THE FIRES BURNING...
A RESURGENT Aldershot Town earned a third successive win to consolidate their place in amongst the play-off chasing pack as Shamir Fenelon and Jake Gallagher continued where they left off against Woking.
This was a thoroughly deserved victory for the Shots, who have now won three in a row for the first time since early September, but – despite Steve Burr awarding a first start to striker Ruben Jerome – injury-hit Southport’s poor away form continued.
The Sandgrounders had made a promising and enterprising start to the game, but the Shots were always in the ascendancy, and Fenelon shouldn’t have had to wait until the 45th minute for his goal.
Scott Rendell – the other scorer in two Christmas and New Year victories against Woking – twice headed wide in the early stages, before Anthony Straker’s 25-yard drive brought a strong save from Magnus Norman. The keeper then parried Bernard Mensah’s low shot, and Fenelon had a hat-trick of opportunities – including a header, which Norman was again equal to – only to finally break the deadlock in the final minute of the half.
Callum Reynolds sent Mensah scampering forward on a pacy counter-attack also involving Kundai Benyu, and, when Mensah’s cross was only palmed out by Norman, Fenelon guided a shot into the top corner. Aldershot continued to press after the break, and Delial Brewster’s header from Neil Ashton’s corner, on 59 minutes, represented a rare sight of goal for the visitors. Norman denied Rendell and Cheye Alexander in quick succession midway through the second period, but on 70 minutes Gallagher sealed victory. A flowing move culminated in Mensah’s low pull-back from the left and Gallagher’s angled shot found its way into the net via a deflection. Andrai Jones’ late consolation – meeting a left-wing cross with a neat lob over Jake Cole, having been thrown into the attack late on – was too little too late for Southport, and Burr had no complaints about the result. “Aldershot played very well and we struggled to cope with their energy,” he said. “We were a bit out of sorts and dipped below the standards that we expect.” Waddock was delighted at his side’s upturn in form: “The performance was very good. Jake Cole had almost nothing to do and to score right at the end of the half gave us the momentum. We created a lot of chances and had a lot of possession, and being able to back-up our two wins against Woking makes this a very good result.”