Town lead twice but fight-back to earn point
The Hatters extended their unbeaten run to six games in another topsy-turvy game in the Skrill Premier.
After Saturday’s 4-3 victory over Halifax, the Town led twice but needed a penalty 10 minutes from time earn a point.
Andre Gray put the Hatters in front before Jake Goodman’s leveller. Andy Parry restored the Town’s lead but Aldershot found themselves in front at half-time thanks to goals from Jordan Roberts and Mark Moseley.
Not to be denied, however, the Hatters rescued a point when substitute Shaun Whalley converted a penalty he won having been fouled in the penalty area.
The Town, showing one change from the weekend - with Jake Howells replacing Alex Lawless, made the perfect start when taking the lead on four minutes. Ex-Aldershot midfielder Luke Guttridge sent Gray through on goal and after taking a touch the striker curled home a fine left-foot shot into the corner of the net for his third goal of the season.
Hurt by going behind the hosts responded well. Captain Craig Stanley flashed a drive inches over the crossbar on six minutes before Mark Tyler did well to claw onto a curling effort from Brett Williams on 11 minutes.
However, the Hatters weren’t so lucky a minute later when Goodman, who played 11 times on-loan for the Town last season, took advantage of some slack Town defending to tap home from two yards.
Aldershot all of a sudden were in the ascendancy but the Hatters re-took the lead on 16 minutes through Parry’s first goal for the club. Gray wriggled his way into the box to win a corner which Howells swung into Steve McNulty, and the centre-half’s header across goal was kneed home by Parry from six yards.
It was almost 3-1 to the Town on 21 minutes when a Guttridge free-kick was volley just the crossbar over by Benson – and that would be the Hatters’ final chance of the first half as the Shots upped the ante.
Andy Scott’s side hit their second equaliser on 24 minutes when Roberts fired confidently beyond an exposed Tyler after Alex Lacey and McNulty had failed to deal with a long ball over the top of the defence.
Guttridge shot wide for the Hatters on 31 minutes before Benson’s appeals for a penalty were waved away two minutes later after the striker went down under a challenge from home goalkeeper Nick Pope.
But Aldershot were always looking dangerous going forward and, after twice going close with half-chances from set-pieces, the Shots took the lead for the first time on the stroke of half-time. Moseley picked the ball up outside the Hatters area and strode unchallenged to the byline, cut inside and smashed a low shot past Tyler.
There were no changes after half-time for either side, but the Hatters missed a great chance to level four minutes after the restart when Gray’s pass from the right flank was met first-time by Guttridge but he lifted the ball over the crossbar from 15 yards.
Chances were few and far between and just before the hour Alex Wall was introduced in the Town’s first change of the night, the striker replacing Howells.
On 62 minutes the Hatters came close again to finding an equaliser when the ball found its way to Gray just inside the box and the scorer of the first goal sent a firm left-foot shot a yard wide of the target.
The Town had Tyler to thank for keeping the score at 3-2 when he dived at full length to save Jaydon Gibbs’ low curling shot from the edge of the box.
John Still introduced Whalley on 71 minutes and the former Southport winger joined his former Haig Avenue colleague on the scoresheet from the spot 10 minutes from time. He burst into the box down the right before being sent sprawling and, after a short delay, stepped up to coolly dispatch past Pope from 12 yards.
A fantastic block by McNulty prevented the Shots retaking the lead once more on 82 minutes after Gibbs had weaved into the box before finding time and space to get a shot away.
Both sides had half chances to sneak a winner in the final minutes with Gibbs going close again for the hosts in the fourth minute of added time but that was the final chance as both sides shared the points.
TOWN: Tyler; Henry, Griffiths, McNulty, Lacey; Smith, Parry (sub Whalley 71), Guttridge; Gray, Howells (sub Wall 59), Benson.
Subs not used: Charles, Robinson, Justham.
ATTENDANCE: 2,693, including 840 supporting the Town.