Aldershot Town v Bromley Match Preview – Saturday 8th September 2018
Following Wednesday evening’s 2-1 defeat at Havant & Waterlooville, Gary Waddock’s Aldershot Town will return to the EBB Stadium on Saturday to take on mid-table Bromley FC. Scott Rendell scored a late consolation goal for The Shots at Westleigh Park, but it was not enough to prevent his side from losing their fifth straight away game in the National League this season. BBC Surrey Sport’s Rob Worrall previews the game.
Manager Gary Waddock remains without injured Hull City loanee goalkeeper Will Mannion, who is recovering from a quad injury. Skipper Karleigh Osborne (Achilles) is a week or so away from a return. Marvin McCoy is yet to make his Shots debut due to an injury that has kept him out since pre-season. Shamir Fenelon is a doubt after going off with an injury in the second half on Wednesday evening.
Name: Bromley FC
Nickname: The Ravens
Manager: Neil Smith
Stadium: Hayes Lane
2017/18 National League South position: 9th
Bromley Football Club was founded in 1892, switching between the Kent, London, Spartan, Athenian and Isthmian League before settling in the latter in 1952. They’ve won three FA Amateur Cups and were Isthmian League winners on four occasions, whilst their promotion via the Play-Offs in 2007 started a run of eight seasons in Conference South. On six consecutive occasions, they ended the season between 11th and 17th before a third-place finish in 2013-14 (losing to Ebbsfleet United in the Play-Off semi-final) and the National League South title twelve months later. The Ravens finished 14th with sixty points in their first campaign at a national level, one place and four points above Aldershot Town and last season, they improved further to finish 9th and also reached the FA Trophy Final at Wembley Stadium where they lost to Brackley Town on penalties.
Former professional footballer Neil Smith played more than 350 games in the English Football League, for Gillingham, Fulham and Reading. He then switched to non-league football, making 142 appearances for Woking, in addition to brief spells at Welling, Bromley and Maidstone.
He was appointed joint Interim Manager of Woking in March 2007 and helped steer the Surrey side to safety, only for Frank Gray to ultimately get the permanent role. Smith then took the reins of Welling United for just six months, before being sacked in January 2008 and returning, briefly, as a player to Bromley. After coaching spells at Grays Athletic, Croydon and Lewes, he took the job as Assistant Manager at Bromley. In February 2016, following the departure of manager Mark Goldberg, Smith took over as interim Manager and after a successful run of results, was given the job on a permanent basis. In the 2014-15 season, Smith led Bromley to the Conference South title and promotion to the National League. In both of their first two seasons in Non-League’s top flight, they have finished in the top half and Smith also took them to Wembley last term, in the FA Trophy Final.
Nine players departed, four of which went of their own accord, including Winger Luke Wannadio, who joined Aldershot Town, top scorer Josh Rees (Gillingham) and Louis Dennis (Portsmouth). Those three players alone scored more than 40 of Bromley’s goals last season.
Nine players stayed, including former Premiership defender Roger Johnson and ex-Shots winger Adam Mekki. Twelve arrived at Hayes Lane, including; Crawley midfielder Frankie Sutherland – Bromley’s top scorer to date with three goals, former Shots winger Bobby-Joe Taylor, Forest Green Rovers Striker Omar Bugeil (on loan at Bromley last season), former Braintree skipper Marc Anthony Okoye and most recently, Swindon Town’s John Goddard – on loan.
Saturday’s referee is Christopher Pollard and this is his 4th National League game this term. Last season he took the middle on 9 occasions, showing 24 Yellow cards and 1 Red card. He did not referee Shots last season.
BBC Surrey Sports Rob Worrall and a special guest will be covering the game live on Saturday afternoon. Tune in to the BBC Sport website (or the BBC Sport App) from 2:50pm for full match commentary. To interact, tweet @RobShot66.