Report by Joe Ward
Aldershot Town 1 Altrincham 1
The Robins surpassed last season's points tally with a hard-fought draw against Aldershot Town in the final game of our 2022/23 campaign at The EBB Stadium.
A delay in Altrincham's arrival meant the game didn't kick off until 6:15pm - 45 minutes later than originally intended. And even after play began, the match still took a while to get going, with over an hour gone before Tyler Corden opened the scoring for the hosts.
But just as all three points looked to be heading the way of the Shots, Eddy Jones earned Alty a well-deserved point with a late strike just three minutes from time.
There was little in the way of excitement in the first half, though the home side almost took the lead within 10 minutes when a searching cross from Ollie Harfield found the head of Jack Barham, whose effort flew just wide.
Tommy Widdrington's side again came close to scoring just before the hour mark when Tahvon Campbell's menacing strike fizzed past Matty Gould's far post.
Aldershot continued to build pressure towards the end of the first half, but Alty's defence rose to the challenge and stood strong to keep the score line goalless heading into the break.
Regan Linney came close to putting Phil Parkinson's side ahead in the 54th minute when his effort hit the post. The striker expertly opened his body before slotting the ball past Luca Ashby-Hammond, only to be denied by the woodwork.
The Robins hit the post again just 10 minutes later, as Josh Lundstram's scuffed effort from the edge of the box somehow beat the Shots' keeper before bouncing off the post and into the gloves of a relieved Ashby-Hammond.
But Cordner put Aldershot in front in the 66th minute when his shot was met by a huge deflection, sending the ball past Gould, who was left rooted to the spot.
In an attempt to inject more tempo into his side, Parkinson made a couple of changes late on, with Zak Goodson and Aaron Bennett making way for Luke Burgess and Ben Pringle in the 78th minute.
To the gaffer's delight, his side reacted well and found an equaliser in the 87th minute, as a low cross found Jones, who surged into the box to turn in the leveller, rescuing a point with only a few minutes left to play.
The defender’s goal was to be the last of the evening’s proceedings and of Alty's first season as a full-time club, which has seen us finish our Vanarama National League campaign in a respectable 17th place.
Altrincham - Gould, E. Jones, Marriot, Osborne, Baines, Ferguson (Perritt 46), Lundstram (C), J. Jones, Bennett (Pringle 78), Linney, Goodson (Burgess 78), Unused Sub - Forde.
Aldershot Town - Ashby-Hammond, Kenlock, Harfield, Cordner (C) (Partington 86), Frost, Campbell, McQuoid (Amaluzor 80), Mnoga, Glover (Rowe 72), Willard, Barham, Unused subs - Ochieng, Anderson.
Booked - Amaluzor, Perritt
Referee - Ryan Atkin
Attendance - 2,469 (74 away)