Shot Down: Aldershot 3-1 Crewe
Crewe put in one of the poorest displays so far this season and fell to a deserved 3-1 defeat at Aldershot.
It was the third trip down South in two weeks but it failed to produce the same gutsy wins we saw at Cheltenham and AFC Wimbledon. Instead we were served up a pretty resounding defeat with little to shout about.
Aldershot were relentless with their pressure from the off, kept the ball better than us and and after threatening once or twice made the break through just 23 minutes in, with a little help and an assist from Tootle to leave Steve Phillips stranded, Danny Hylton poked it over the line.
You have to say even at that point you feared just where the match was heading, we weren't particularly inventive going forward and the midfield and defence were crumbling with some direct, powerful play from Aldershot's McGlashan & Rankine.
The counter attack once again seemed to be our saviour though on the half our mark, a through ball to Leitch-Smith finally found himself onside (after Ajay had earlier allowed the linesman to be flag happy). Ajay broke his way through the Aldershot defence and calmly put it beyond the keeper. A lucky escape for the Alex but could we build on it?
The half dwindled into tit-for-tat and after half time prayers for some Dario inspiration, our worst fears were realised all too soon. It took less than three minutes of the second half for Aldershot to go back ahead.
McGlashan's pot shot from the edge of the area was turned into a winner with a wicked deflection off Tootle, which sent the ball looping over Steve Phillips.
It summed up Tootle's afternoon; an absolute nightmare. He struggled with the tricky McGlashan, a nippy winger who also gave Danny Blanchett a hard time last season, and adding two all-but own goals into the mix is just rubbing salt into the wounds.
There was no reply from the Alex this time round. Not so much as a shot on target. Byron's end product lacked anything and everything and Shaun Miller is looking poles apart from the player we saw last season and in the first few weeks of this season. You also have to question Dario's decision to rest Powell.
Was it due to the FA Youth Cup this Tuesday or just the run of games he's had? Either way, I think there's plenty of chances of rest coming up in November (FA Cup, JPT, there are also only three league games). We really lacked his spark and imagination today; in my opinion Powell and Ajay are the only players who look threats going forward these days.
Aldershot's third goal came just 15 minutes after the second and finished the game off as a contest. Hylton with his second of the game, this time [somehow] beating Phillips at his near post.
Even with Aldershot easing off the gas for the remainder of the game, even our 'best efforts' were not enough to claw a way back into the game.
The Shots could have had at least two more, with only the fantastic Steve Phillips keeping things respectable, whilst the only chance of note in the second half for us was Harry Davis heading inches over from a corner.
It was a game to forget, a performance we won't want to re-visit any time soon and continues the 'consistent' run going. October's form was as follows: L-W-L-W-L-W-L.... At least we know what's happening next week.
November brings the FA Cup (draw Sunday), Oldham in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy as well as Torquay (H), Morecambe (A) and Hereford (H) in the League. So a quieter month with little travelling, hopefully a chance to knuckle down and find some consistency.