Date: 4th September 2009 at 9:30pm
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After a mixed pre-season, in which the Shots recorded three wins, two draws and four defeats, there was a mixed feeling at the Recreation Ground heading into the new season.

Gary Waddock had made some promising signings; full back Ben Herd signed after being released by Shrewsbury, centre half Adam Hinshelwood signed after being released by Brighton and ex-Stoke, Reading and Brentford holding midfielder John Halls also arrived. Another addition was goalkeeper Chris Masters who arrived from Southend following Nikki Bull’s departure.

Heading in the other direction were captain Rhys Day who joined Oxford, Rob Elvins signed for Worcester and most notable of all, long serving goalkeeper Nikki Bull left to join last season’s League Two champions Brentford.

With the team in place, the Shots welcomed Colin Todd’s Darlington to the Rec for the season’s opener. The Quakers had well publicised money troubles during the months leading up to the season and arrived in Hampshire with a new-look squad after summer turmoil which involved a pre-season friendly with Middlesbrough being cancelled due to Darlo’s inability to get a squad together.

As for the match, it was a dream start to the season for the Shots. It took just three minutes for Marvin Morgan to register the first goal of the season as the Shots dominated the opening half. On the half-hour mark the lead was doubled, after the Darlo keeper dropped a cross Andy Sandell was in hand to open his account for the new season and put the home side firmly in control. Two mintes after the re-start Aldershot made sure of the points as Louis Soares finished from a tight angle. The visitors got a goal back late on, but it was an emphatic win for the Shots and the best possible start to the season.

Three days later the Shots travelled west to take on League One outfit Bristol Rovers in the first round of the League Cup. It was a close game that was decided by three penalty decisions. Adam Hinshelwood was penalised on 38 minutes and Darryl Duffy fired past Masters to give Rovers the lead. This lead was doubled just ten minutes after half time as Hinshelwood fouled again and Darryl Duffy stepped up again, however Masters made the save, but Duffy knocked in the rebound to put the home side 2-0 up. The trilogy of penalites was completed on the hour mark after a handball, Marvin Morgan pulled a goal back from 12 yards out. But it wasn’t enough and the Shots went out in the first round for the second year in a row.

On the back of that loss the Shots were on the road again, this time to Spotland to take on Rochdale. Things looked good for the Shots on 15 minutes as the home side were reduced to ten men. Morgan was through on goal, but was pulled down by Nathan Stanton and given his marching orders. However, the Shots couldn’t capitalise on the man advantage and in the fourth minute of added on time, Adam Hinshelwood gave away a third penalty in a week as he was penalised for handball. Tom Kennedy smashed the ball home to snatch victory for Dale and had Aldershot their first defeat of the season.

After this disappointment it was on the road again on Tuesday night as Gary Waddock’s men made the short trip south to take on AFC Bournemouth at Dean Court. It was a close match and was decided just after half time as Jason Pearce headed home to give the Cherries all three points as Aldershot lost for a third time in a row.

It was back home for the Shots on the Saturday as Accrington Stanley visited the Rec. However, this day was not about football. On Saturday morning it was announced that chairman John McGinty had lost his battle with cancer at the age of 72. A minute of silence was observed by all members of staff before the match, which felt meaningless, got under-way. It took eight minutes for the deadlock to be broken, after a cross from Soares rebounded off the bar into the path of Scott Donnelly who fired home from outside box. Marvin Morgan doubled the lead after 20 minutes with a close-range effort, but Stanley pulled one back just after half time. Donnelly made sure of the points with another long range effort to give John McGinty the perfect send off.

With a win under their belts Aldershot were on the road again and went in search of their first away win of the season at struggling Grimsby, who were yet to win a home game. After the home side made a bright start and had the ball in the net early on, but it was ruled out for offside. On 26 minutes Scott Donnelly got on the end of a Louis Soares cross to put the Shots into the lead and the visitors began to take control of the match. Donnelly doubled the lead early in the second half, after his initial shot was saved, the midfielder rounded the keeper and scored his fourth goal in two games. The Mariners got one back with ten minutes to play, but after the home side had two players sent off in injury time any hope of a come back was over and the Shots returned home with all three points.

After a rather successful opening month on the pitch Aldershot finished the month in 7th place, with 9 points. Hereford United are the next opponents as they head south on Saturday…