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Match Report: 08 Dec 2012 Aldershot Town Football Club v Oxford United
Aldershot Town Football Club's Badge Aldershot Town Football Club 1
Oxford's Badge Oxford United 1
Fixture Type: npower League Two Venue: Home
Match Date: Sat 08 Dec 2012, Kick Off: 00:00 Attendance: 5721 (344)
Referee: Tony Harrington Assistant Referee: Daniel Robathan
Assistant Referee: Mark Mellor 4th Official: Adam Matthews

Late Mekki wonder strike secures vital point for Shots

Rob Worrall reporting

A return to League Two action for The Shots and thanks to Adam Mekki's wonder strike, they came back with a deserved point - and climbed out of the League Two relegation places.

Shots headed up to Oxfordshire in good spirit, buoyed by their FA Cup victory at Fleetwood seven days earlier.

Aaron Morris fell ill in the twenty four hours prior to this match, easing a rare selection headache for Manager Dean Holdsworth. He elected to bring back Danny Rose into the heart of midfield alongside fellow loanee Michael Hector. Holdsworth also decided to recall Dani Lopez, allowing him to have top scorer Craig Reid to call upon from the bench.

Rose and another ex-yellow Anthony Tonkin were both applauded generously by the home fans when their names were announced prior to kick-off, when everyone in the stadium stood to pay their respects to former Oxford player Mitchell Cole, who had sadly passed away, a week earlier.

The Shots made a lively start, Vincenti, Lopez, Hylton and Cadogan all involved in a move straight from kick-off that resulted in a corner. The first real chance of the match though, fell to Oxford, in the eighth minute, when a cross from the left was flicked on for Alfie Potter. The diminutive winger could only hit his 8-yard far post effort straight at Anthony Tonkin though.

Tonkin, who has been sent off twice previously when playing against former clubs, almost completed an unwitting hat-trick of sorts. However, fortunately, his late lunge on Potter in the twentieth minute resulted in only a yellow on this occasion.

The game livened up and The Shots began to get on top. One good move saw Vincenti and then Lopez get away efforts on goal, the second one deflected behind for a corner. Moments later, Lopez got away down the left, but Hylton couldn't quite get on the end of his low cross. Then on 25 minutes, Hylton weaved his way into the box and was bundled over. Referee Harrington decided though that he had gone over a little too spectacularly and gave only a corner.

For all Shots' dominance, Oxford should have taken the lead on the half hour, when James Constable nipped onto a long ball forward and got there just ahead of the advancing Young, only to see his lobbed effort bounce just wide of Shots' open goal.

Shots have been punished before for failing to score when on top, and it was to be that way again, when, on 33 minutes, the home side took the lead. A cross from the left was held up by Constable and then laid back to Adam Chapman, whose crisp finish from 20 yards gave Young no chance. 1-0 Oxford. The rest of the first half passed without any major incidents of note, so Shots rather cruelly trailled at the break.

After a quiet opening few second half minutes, the game came to life again. Hector shot over the bar. Hylton was bundled over again - still no penalty. Then, five minutes later, Hylton was fouled for a third time - this time, outisde the area - and the free kick was given. Cadogan took it and Hylton himself rose highest, but he couldn't get enough purchase on his header, which flew wide.

Shots had another possible penalty shout on 70 minutes. As a Vincenti rose to meet a Cadogan corner, he was pushed aside by a straight arm. The Shots' fans appealed - nothing given.

With just over a quarter of an hour left, Holdsworth brought on Adam Mekki for Vincenti and Craig Reid for Lopez. Mekki made an immediate impact, with a surge down the left and a cross which deflected up in the air and cause havoc when it came down. Hylton somehow jumped higher than the keeper's outstretched arm, but Shots couldn't get the vital touch.

Shots huffed and puffed away, the home fans ever increasingly frustrated by their own team's performance - but they held the lead and were heading for three points. Or were they?

Adam Mekki had other ideas. In the 85th minute, he cut in from the left wing and curled home an absolute beauty from 25 yards! For the second time in seven days, the travelling Shots' fans had been treated to a goal of real quality - but more importantly, the goal -and the point it subsequently earned, was ultimately to lift Shots out of the relegation places.