Crawley 0 Aldershot & Farnham 8: ALDERSHOT & Farnham go into today’s (Saturday’s) final game of the season with a simple aim: win.
Victory at Heath End School in Farnham at midday would ensure promotion from South East Division 1 West.
If they were to slip up, Sunbury & Walton Hawks would need to get something from their home clash with Oxted III to pip them to top spot.
But the Shots will be buoyed by being able to name a strong side with players returning from injury.
Head coach Ian Jennings said: “After a difficult few weeks with unavailability, I was very pleased with how we went about our performance.
“We went back to the methodical approach we strive to achieve each time we play and got the result we deserved.
“We will go into this weekend’s match in the same manner we have approached all our games this season – there’s no reason to do anything else at this point.
“I am very happy where we are at.
“I am really happy to have a full contingent of players for the last game of the season which will put us in a great place to go and deliver.
“If we had started the season, in a league that was an unknown quantity, and told each other we would go into the last league game of the season on top, we would have been delighted – so to be in that position is fantastic.”
After the previous week’s stuttering victory over Reigate Priory, the Shots went into last weekend’s away day to Crawley knowing a serious improvement in performance was required.
After some inter-squad soul searching, they were raring to go with a fresh mentality and renewed confidence.
The opening exchanges were fraught with the early summer heat playing a decisive factor.
But before long, the Shots returned to the composed style of play that encapsulates their best form so far this season.
Giltrow, Herring and Weston retained the ball around the back, finding Boot, Whelan and Treadgold in the midfield when the opportunity arose.
Several opportunities were successfully carved out in the early proceedings, with Perry and Morhall finding adequate space on the flanks to punish the Crawley back line.
However, the Shots started off the day spurning several clear-cut opportunities at goal. This did not last; Groves robbed the opposition centre half before neatly finishing to make it 1-0.
This set the precedent, with usual custodian Hall back between the sticks barely touching the ball all game.
Groves added a second shortly after, thanks to Cryer, Weston, Coombe and Smith creating a lot of space for the veteran to operate in.
Some great industry by Morhall down the right provided yet another opportunity that was scrambled home by Coombe to make it three, with Cryer finishing another good move through midfield work by Boot on the left to make it four before half-time.
With Jennings off to watch the ladies’ first XI in a crucial relegation decider, the Shots were led by skipper Perry in the second half.
There was no change in intensity, however, as some midfield creativity by Rushmere and McCafferty managed to find Groves in space to get his 22nd goal of the season and complete his hat-trick for the day.
More good midfield work from Treadgold and Boot carved out an opportunity for a ball to be fired in from the right that was tapped home at the back post by the ever- gleeful McCafferty to make it 6-0.
Crawley now were offering very little, with the game no longer a contest.
Whelan added a seventh with the energetic Charlie Weston adding the final goal of the day following a great breakaway by the travelling side.
Report: William Giltrow
Photos: Steve Tarsey