Aldershot Town’s FA Cup run came to an end in the third round proper at The Hawthorns, as Championship outfit West Bromwich Albion got the better of Tommy Widdrington’s side in a 4-1 victory.
Widdrington was forced into two changes to his starting 11 from the National League win at Woking.
Haji Mnoga was away on international duty after being called up to Tanzania’s Africa Cup of Nations squad. He was replaced by Ryan Glover on the right of a back five.
Josh Stokes missed out through suspension and Theo Widdrington returned to the starting 11 in his place.
West Brom took the lead with less than ten minutes on the clock. The Shots were unlocked down the Baggies’ right, and former Chelsea player Nathaniel Chalobah sent the ball high into the top left corner past Jordi van Stappershoef in the Shots net following a cut back.
Aldershot then shot themselves in the foot to gift the Baggies goals two and three.
Cian Harries slipped on the ball, allowing Jovan Malcom in behind into an empty gap and he converted to give West Brom a 2-0 lead.
Defending against the sun then cost the Shots for the third goal. Stuart O’Keefe was unable to clear the ball from danger with the sun in his eyes, heading the ball to Daryl Dike – who converted on the half volley from close range.
The best chance of the half for Aldershot came from Jack Barham, but his half chance was deflected behind for a corner which came to nothing.
The Shots started the better of the two sides on the ball in the second half, but were unable to make any dent into the deficit. Tyler Frost had a claim for a penalty disregarded by referee Anthony Backhouse, but other than that the Shots did little to trouble Josh Griffiths in the Baggies goal.
Despite being 3-0 down the Shots were still giving the game a good go. Frost got on the end of an Ollie Harfield cross, but his effort was deflected behind for a corner.
Lorent Tolaj received the ball from Frost with just over ten minutes left on the clock and hit a right-foot shot towards the top left corner which forced Griffiths into a good save.
Albion would have a fourth with the game almost over, as Tom Fellows beat the offside trap and raced through in behind the defence. Fellows eventually turned Harfield before slotting beyond Van Stappershoef to extend West Brom’s lead to four.
The nearly 5,000 travelling Shots were not to go home empty handed though, as deep into added time substitute Ollie Bray got his first goal for the club to give Aldershot something to celebrate.
The supporters then stayed behind after the final whistle to cheer Aldershot’s players and coaches off the pitch, despite the scoreline.