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Holmes Is Where The Heart Is
Better By: Eric Hitchmo 18/10/2011
Aldershot Town H
15/10/2011   (Click date for match details)
League 2011-2012
W  2- 1
Attendance: 2015  (350 Away)
More On Aldershot Town

Finally, the rot has been curtailed and we have picked up our first league win since comfortably seeing off a desperate Plymouth side. You would argue that we have been slightly unfortunate, particularly in our last two games, where late goals have cost us a point in both. Indeed, how we conspired to lose the Northampton game a fortnight ago still baffles me having largely dominated a poor team.

What's done is done now however, but it would be fair to say that  recent displays have shown signs of improvement. A question mark does still hover over the back four, despite now finally fielding what should be our strongest unit. The manner in which we conceded on Saturday still showed there is work to be done. However, what isn't in question is the potential potency of our attacking lineup. It looked for some time as if we would be able to score through one source, Izale McLeod, but now with the return to fitness of Steve Kabba and the game-by-game progress of Ricky Holmes, we have options and class in front of goal.

For me, Holmes has been outstanding so far this season. In and out of the team to begin with, throughout last season and the start of this, Holmes has really made his starting XI place his own in recent weeks and has really begun to fulfil the potential he showed when he first joined the club from Chelmsford City. Five goals now in nine starts (plus six from the bench) stand to fortify the belief that Holmes is really becoming an asset. His display on Saturday was probably his best yet, hence my disbelief when the inconsistent Mark Marshall was announced as Man of the Match. Holmes ran the show in the second half, and created numerous chances for his teammates. His hard work paid off to when his predatory instinct was on display to pounce on a rebound and tuck home with eleven minutes to spare following a wonderful little move involving McLeod and Kabba.

Kabba also as a second half substitute proved his worth. He won us a penalty which he took himself to notch his first league goal of the season. Injury has again prevented him from too much game time, but he appears to be fully on the mend now and ready to show the sort of form that made him such an asset in our survival last year. The form of our front men should provide Lawrie Sanchez with a nice headache.

What was more encouraging also was the manner in which we won the game. We had to come from behind and show plenty of spirit to defeat a dogged Aldershot team. They didn't offer plenty going forward, but were hard to break down. On the strength of our second half performance however, we were well worth the points. It almost went very pear shaped in the dying embers as the visitors could easily have been awarded a penalty of their own as their striker was upended in the box. The referee took a long hard look at it but waved the protests away. It would have been mightily harsh on us bearing in the mind the events of the last couple of games, but let's just say I've seen those given more often than not!

You could feel the relief around the ground as the final whistle sounded. There was also plenty of handbags flying around as allegations of spitting and racism have done the rounds the Twitter universe since. Shots striker and goalscorer Danny Hylton, who had been involved in niggly bickering and complaining all day, was held back by Dean Holdsworth following some altercation in the melee. What comes of this incident remains to be seen. However, with that silliness passed, it's three more points finally on the board to keep us up with the pack. Indeed, the two teams below us picked up wins as well, but at least now we are within touching distance of those above us rather than scrambling pathetically for our lives.

Hereford, the team occupying 23rd place are our next opponents. Can we dare to dream of a second consecutive victory?

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