Former apprentice comes out on top against the Master

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The showdown between ex-Royals Kevin Dillon and Steve Coppell ended in victory for understudy Dillon, as his super-sharp Shots stormed past a limp Bristol City in front of a delighted EBB crowd.

The Robins - missing prolific striker Nicky Maynard and homesick Paul Hartley, who is seeking a move back to Hearts - never stood up to their lower league opponents' drive and endeavour, and crumbled 3-0 in front of a 1,048-strong crowd.

However, the opening exchanges gave no indication of what was to come, as a succession of Jamal Cambell-Ryce corners put the hosts under severe pressure. It seemed a case of the same old story for the home fans, as a few simple long balls from deep caused all sorts of mayhem in the Aldershot defence.

Before long, Shots' keeper Jamie Young was called into action, as new Robins signing Albert Adomahfired a fierce drive from the edge of the box, forcing the Aussie-born keeper to sprawl to his right to push the ball to safety.

But the hosts withstood the early pressure and forced themselves back into the game, a close-range, Anthony Straker volley and a low effort from Luke Guttridge forcing the best out of visiting keeper Dean Gerken.

Eventually the shift in momentum took its toll, and the vibrant Marvin Morgan was on hand to provide the touch of class the game needed. Receiving the ball from Straker with his back to goal, last season's top scorer for the red and blue turned his marker and fired home from just inside the penalty area.

Despite riding their luck - former loanee Marlon Jackson also hit a post after good work from the lively Adomah - Aldershot went in at the break holding their slender lead.

Steve Coppell's men simply never emerged after the break, and were made to pay by a rampant Aldershot side.

The warning signs were in place as centre-back Darren Jones twice showed the Shots faithful that he can hold his own in the opposition penalty area and had a good shout for a penalty turned down, as he wriggled his way through a crowded penalty area, only to be halted just as he was about to pull the trigger.

Maybe the loud appeal from the East Bank that followed influenced the referee not 10 minutes later, as the uncontainable Marvin Morgan turned Lewin Nayatanga in the box, only to be brought down by a tug on his shirt. No hesitation from referee Danny McDermott - penalty Aldershot. The giant target man dusted himself off and dispatched the penalty, sending Gerken the wrong way.

A starting line-up that contained no trialists - suggesting Shots boss Kevin Dillon is content with his side ahead of a new season - was shuffled, allowing hopefuls Clayton Fortune, Aaron Brown, Jake Hyde, Jack Saville and Wade Small a chance to impress the home crowd.

And it was the latter - on trial from Chesterfield - who made the biggest impact in the final minutes, putting a gloss on the scoreline with a fine third.

Picking the ball up just outside the area, the 26 year-old Spireite turned in similar fashion to Morgan and whipped a shot across Gerken into the top right corner, albeit with the help of a slight deflection.

There was still time for a long ball over the home back four to free Ivan Sproule, who saw his shot agonisingly hit a post, but conceding a consolation would have been harsh on a dogged Aldershot side.

*Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.

Bristol City
League Two
Aldershot Town

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