Mustapha Carayol’s Bristol Rovers four-match unbeaten run came to an end after Peter Vincenti’s first-half strike kept Aldershot Town’s slim play-off hopes alive with a 1-0 victory.
The former Stevenage midfielder’s fourth league goal of the season four minutes before half-time gave the Shots their third victory in a row in a cagey encounter. Carayol’s Pirates started the better as striker Elliot Richards twice came close to breaking the deadlock in the opening ten minutes.
In the Shots’ first meaningful attempt of the half, Aaron Morris blazed his long-range volley well over Scott Bevan’s bar before Vincenti struck in the 41st minute. As Guy Madjo and Cian Bolger tangled on the edge of the box, the 25-year-old pounced with a low right-footed drive into the corner.
After an hour, he tried his luck again, this time from 25 yards, but his volley was safely watched over the bar by Bevan. Second-half substitute Mustapha Carayol came close to an equaliser for Rovers late on before a frantic goalmouth scramble at the death amounted to nothing.
Aldershot re-treated further and further back to preserve their slender lead, but came close to scoring as the game neared a conclusion. Only the alertness of goalkeeper Bevan prevented substitute Josh Payne from seeing his cheeky chip nestling in the far corner of the net.
When Matthew Lund’s free header from close-range was easily collected by Aldershot goalkeeper Jamie Young in the 88th minute and then Matt Harrold had a shot cleared off the line you knew, the game was up.