- Under 21's PDS
4 December 2023
Aldershot Town travelled to Hayes Lane on Saturday in 17th place with only one win in their last five games in the league, with the Ravens nesting comfortably in eighth place, thriving off the back of an emphatic 4-1 against Yeovil, and gunning to extend their four-game unbeaten streak at Hayes Lane. They did exactly that, drawing 2-2 with the Shots with Michael Cheek netting a brace for the hosts.
Michael Klass got the game underway in the Hayes Lane sunshine and after a 2-1 win against Solihull Moors in the week, courtesy of an Inih Effiong brace, it seemed the perfect motivation for Aldershot to spearhead their climb up the table.
A sample of Harry Forster magic in the sixth minute saw a loose ball fall to Louis Dennis, with the Bromley winger’s shot forcing Aldershot’s number one Luca Ashby-Hammond into his first save of the game. Forster continued to dazzle defenders with his trickery – the 11th minute saw him jink away from his man, before laying it off to James Vennings who saw his shot blocked.
The Shots fired ahead in the 17th minute, through a cool Jake Hutchinson finish that marked his first goal for the club since joining on loan from Eastbourne Borough. A thunderous Ryan Glover strike shortly after nearly doubled the lead, with the number 23 rattling the woodwork.
Bromley virtuoso Forster proved to be Aldershot’s kryptonite, with the driving runs piercing the heart of any defence that the Reds seemed able to muster, and his relentlessness provided him with the opportunity to shoot in the 28th minute, once again calling Ashby-Hammond into action.
Andy Woodman’s men continued the surge, with wave after wave of attack, each one evoking a larger splash than the last. The Ravens were finally rewarded in the 36th minute when a Vennings by-line cut back found the head of prolific goalscorer Michael Cheek, who nodded the ball into the back of the net for his sixth league goal of the season, drawing Bromley level and sparking an eruption of cheers from behind the goal.
Flying Forster continued to exhibit his excellence, narrowly missing out on the chance to poke Bromley ahead on the stroke of half time, with his one-on-one effort trickling narrowly wide of the post.
Dennis restarted the game under the Hayes Lane floodlights, with both sides racing out of the blocks. It was Bromley that were dealt the first chance of the half, with a free-kick just outside the box in the 53rd minute – a Vennings strike flew over Ashby-Hammond’s crossbar.
Forster’s departure early on in the second half saw the appearance of academy product Ben Krauhaus, whose presence was instantly felt, with the youngster winning his side a corner. The attacker had more in his locker, leading an attack that saw Dennis float a teasing ball into Cheek, with the cross narrowly evading the number nine.
A Corey Whitely rocket in the 66th minute was matched with a sublime Ashby-Hammond fingertip save, clawing the ball away from his top right-hand corner. An under the cosh Aldershot side retorted just minutes later, when an Ollie Harfield free-kick found its way through everyone, and nestled into the back of Reice Charles-Cook’s net to give the Shots the lead, sparking jubilation from the away end.
The jubilation was quickly extinguished, however, when Cheek secured his brace after slotting home a Whitely ball across the face of goal, setting up a scintillating last 20 minutes of football and provoking an even livelier atmosphere around Hayes Lane.
Bromley continued to pile on the pressure, tunnelling in search of the three points, and Cheek had the opportunity to seal it for the Ravens in the 89th minute, when his attempt flew agonisingly wide of the post.
Latest Bromley signing Mitchel Berkgamp was introduced into play with four minutes remaining, and he presented his spark to the Bromley faithfuls when a dangerous shot from the Dutchman forced a corner for the Bromley Boys. Despite Bromley’s persistence, a point was all they were granted after a tough battle with Ross McNeilly’s side.
Attentions now turn to Tuesday night as the Ravens host Dagenham & Redbridge. Tickets are available to purchase here.
Written by Daniel Catlin