1st half line-up: Ingram, Robinson, Perch, Hall, Hamalainen, Henry, Comley, Gladwin, Shodipo. Emmanuel-Thomas, Grego-Cox
2nd half line-up: Lumley, Onuoha, Kpekawa, Caulker, Furlong, Kakay, Doughty, Prohouly, El Khayati, Polter, Chery
Simon Staal was over from Sweden for the weekend and I met up with him at Waterloo Station.
We headed for the Crimea Inn, which is situated on the fringe of the town centre and conveniently, it’s also very close to the ground. It wasn’t long before other Rangers fans began to drift in.
I spotted Gerry Francis inside the ground. He was in attendance because his sons, Adam and Jake, had been included in the Aldershot squad. Also involved were Jake Cole and Angelo Balanta.
James Perch was on hand to make a superb interception in the box following a good cross from the right-wing. Whilst at the other end, Emmanuel-Thomas’ shot just evaded Jake Cole’s far post.
Olamide Shodipo went on a run down the left-flank and his cross from the bye-line was scrambled away.
On 16 minutes, Emmanuel-Thomas set up Shodipo, who turned Jake Cole, then, despite momentarily looking like he was going to stumble, was still able to place the ball into an empty net.
Jack Robinson got himself into a good position but blazed the ball well over the crossbar.
The Shots equalised when Shamir Fenelon’s 25-yard low effort bounced in front of Matt Ingram and then skidded into the corner of the net. This was followed by another speculative 25-yarder from the home side which dipped just over the crossbar.
Just after the half-hour mark, following a great interception and run down on the left-flank, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas drove the ball into the far corner. And then within two minutes, he banged in his second from all of 25-yards, and what a spectacular goal it was too!!!
Rangers had two good attempts to increase their lead before the break. Jack Robinson’s dangerous cross along the six-yard box was cleared to safety. Then the impressive Niko Hamalainen shot just wide of the post. Half-time: 3-1.
I noticed the first flag with the new crest – ‘QPR HU BLOCK’, whilst Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink sent out a completely fresh line-up for the second-half.
A heavy, but fair 50/50 challenge between Nedum Onuoha and Ben Harrison left the Shots midfielder down for some time in agony. Surrounded by medics, staff and a steward, he was eventually stretchered off. Sadly, it was later confirmed that he had suffered a double fracture of the tibia and fibia!!!
Aldershot pulled a goal back following a corner. Joe Lumley should have held on to the cross, but it ended up with Guri Demuria finishing easily from close range.
They went close to getting a third, when, a Shots player, in space, volleyed just wide of the post.
Tjaronn Chery took a corner and the ball ended up at the feet of Michael Doughty and his 20-odd yard shot not only cleared the bar but ending up smashing a window to the left of the goal!
The tempo of the game had subsided but chances were still being created. Seb Polter’s shot was deflected behind and the following corner resulted in play being halted after a clash of heads. Another corner resulted after clever inter-play between Chery and Polter.
The home side had two good attempts to equalise in the closing stages. Firstly when a ball in from the left was headed over the bar from close range. Then finally, Nick Arnold’s curling effort bounced off the post.
Joe English kindly offered us a lift back.