Aldershot Town manager Tommy Widdrington was delighted with his side after they secured a dramatic 1-0 win against FC Halifax Town in the National League on Saturday afternoon.
The Shots left it late at the EBB Stadium, as Lorent Tolaj scored the only goal of a tight game in the 97th minute to secure the three points.
“I’m absolutely delighted,” said Widdrington.
“I thought it was a really good tactical game. It was frustrating that the game wasn’t allowed to flow as much as it should have – there were too many stoppages for things that shouldn’t have been stopped.
“You’ve got to win games in all sorts of ways and we’ve done that this season.
“We’ve dominated games from the start and won comfortably, we’ve come from behind and we’ve won late when it’s been level. We’ve fallen on the right side so we’re absolutely thrilled – it was a huge three points.
“I thought the game went backwards and forwards. Halifax started very well – for about six or seven minutes we couldn’t get the ball off them.
“Our lads were patient when they got the ball and we dominated the first half quite substantially – to the point where we were hoping we could’ve gone in at least 1-0 up.
“We said at half-time to keep going, knowing we’ll get a chance. I fancy us to score every time we play and it doesn’t matter when we scored.
“We’ve got a really good blend of skill sets in the front line. For all of our centre forwards to be between the posts in the 97th minute as the ball is coming across – it was inevitable we were going to get one of them on the end of it.
“I’m thrilled for Lorent – it’s probably one of the ugliest goals he’s scored but it’s probably his most important in the fact it’s won us three points.
“It was two really good sides and we’ve pipped it.
“They could’ve pipped it but we did and I’m delighted for Jordi because he made two really big saves at his near post by being brave and standing up to it. From the back to the front they deserve a huge pat on the back.”
Widdrington stuck with the side that dramatically won 3-2 at Bromley in the National League last Tuesday night (November 21), with Coby Rowe keeping his place as Haji Mnoga returned from international duty to replace Dejan Tetek on the bench.
Millenic Alli had scored in his last two games against the Shots, and he let fly from range and struck the outside of Jordi van Stappershoef’s goal.
Cian Harries fed the ball through to Tolaj, who was denied by Halifax stopper Sam Johnson from close range.
The Shots nearly took the lead just before half-time. Ollie Harfield delivered an inswinging corner towards Jack Barham, but his headed effort was well saved by Johnson in the Halifax goal.
Aldershot began to take a hold of the game in the second half. Barham had a half chance as he got across a defender but couldn’t connect with a Tolaj cross to break the deadlock.
Minutes later Josh Stokes had possibly the best chance to score, getting in behind the compact Halifax defence and being denied from close range by Johnson.
Both sets of defences had put on good displays and the game was still locked at 0-0 in the 96th minute.
It looked like it would finish all square, but Tolaj sent the EBB Stadium into raptures when he won the game for Aldershot in the 97th minute.
Mnoga picked up the ball on the edge of the Halifax box and just wouldn’t give up as he darted into the area, playing the ball across to Tolaj who finally got the better of Johnson with little to no time left on the clock.
Tolaj’s goal would prove to be the final meaningful act, as a late counter attack from the Swiss striker and Barham was ended by the referee’s full time-whistle as the Shots walked away 1-0 winners.
The late winner means the Shots remain in sixth place, with just a point seperating Aldershot in sixth and Solihull Moors in fourth.
Tommy Widdrington’s side now take a two-week break from National League action, as they host League Two Stockport County in the second round proper of the FA Cup on Sunday (2pm) before travelling to fellow National League outfit Eastleigh in the third round proper of the FA Trophy on Saturday, December 9 (3pm).