Aldershot Town manager Tommy Widdrington praised his side’s character after they came from behind to beat Hartlepool United 2-1 in the National League on Saturday.

The Shots trailed 1-0 with just over ten minutes to go at the EBB Stadium, but late goals from Kwame Thomas and Josh Stokes gave the home side the three points.

“It’s pleasing when you win coming from behind – it shows they’ve got a bit of mettle,” said Widdrington. “I thought it was a really good game. Both teams tried to play the game the right way.

“We were disappointed to go behind because I felt we had a really good foothold in the game in the first half.

“It was a really quick response from our first goal – that’s unusual against a good side with a good manager who knows what he’s doing.”

Widdrington also praised the Aldershot fans for the part they played in Saturday’s win.

“The fans play a huge part,” he said. “They stay behind the group, and we reacted really well to the goal we conceded.

“I’ve got 11 players on the pitch, five on the bench, three or four behind me and my staff and every single one of us want to win that football match, and that – married with the 2,200 Shots fans – helps us get over the line.

“That home end sucks the ball in the goal – it’s no coincidence we’re scoring more goals up that end than down the other so let’s keep it going together. We’ve got a really good blend here – lads who have certain qualities that I might see that other people don’t see. I know they’re beneficial in the group.

“The lads are in a good place mentally, and mostly in a good place physically.”

A remarkable few minutes late in Saturday’s game saw Thomas and Stokes score the goals to give the Shots all the points in a 2-1 win in front of 2,361 fans on a rainy afternoon at the EBB.

Having won two in a row, there were minimal changes to the team. Cian Harries was forced out through suspension, but Haji Mnoga went straight back into the backline following international duty. Joe Haigh was the only other change, with Jack Barham returning to the team following a knock that kept him out against Lewes.

New signing Dejan Tetek was among the substitutes, alongside Tyler Frost, Joe Haigh, Maxwell Mullins and Thomas.

Rain before the game meant the opening 15 was about feeling the pitch, with both sides enjoying spells of possession on the wet surface. The Shots thought they had the lead after five minutes, but Barham’s headed effort on the end of Ryan Glover’s cross was met by the linesman’s flag.

As has been a staple of Widdrington’s Shots possession was easy to come by for the home side – but the chances were harder to find against a solid Hartlepool defence.

The hosts had the best chance of the first half when Lorent Tolaj battled well to beat off a Hartlepool defender and cut the ball back to Stokes, who fired over the crossbar from inside the box.

The Shots started the second half well and nearly took the lead when Tolaj’s left-foot shot forced visiting keeper Pete Jameson into a good save.

Despite all the pressure from Aldershot, it was Hartlepool who took the lead in the 58th minute. The Shots failed to deal with a corner, and an acrobatic effort from Emmanuel Dieseruvwe caught Jordi Van Stappershoef out and ended up in the back of the Shots’ net.

The equaliser arrived in the 79th minute when Thomas scored at the back post after Ollie Harfield did well to burst into the box and put the ball on a plate for the striker – who made no mistake from close range.

From the kick-off the Shots took the lead. Thomas was again involved as he held the ball up superbly and fed it to Stokes, who had a clear path to goal and slotted home in the 81st minute.

Frost almost added a third in the 89th minute, but his effort was just wide.

Hartlepool applied some late pressure, but Van Stappershoef remained safe in the Shots goal and Widdrington’s side held on for the three points.

Laurence Ryan