After falling to a very disappointing defeat at the hands of Torquay United on Tuesday 27th October, Aldershot Town host Notts County in the National League on FA Cup weekend.
This comes after the visitors had a number of positive Covid tests, meaning that their squad were forced to self-isolate for two weeks. The fixture, which was originally due to be played last weekend (Saturday 31st October) will now be played tomorrow (Saturday 7th November).
The Torquay game, similarly to the Woking match four days previously, started very well for the Shots with Player of the Month winner Craig Tanner putting the home side ahead early on. However, after a few quickfire goals either side of half time from the Gulls, the Shots never really recovered.
Saturday afternoon provides a great opportunity for Danny Searle and his side to bounce back with and regain some home form, albeit against a tough side.
In association with LV BET, Connor Laing previews the game:
With the exception of Lewis Kinsella’s MCL injury, which will keep him side-lined until Spring 2021, all of Danny Searle’s injuries appear to be minor ones. Harry Panayiotou and Alex Finney will be hoping to be back in contention after looking to recover from their knocks while Ross McCormack, who picked up a slight knock in the first half against Woking in the FA Cup, remains a doubt.
Name: Notts County FC
Nickname: The Magpies
Manager: Neal Ardley
Stadium: Meadow Lane (Capacity: 19,841)
2019/20 National League Final Position: 3rd (when season ended) Awarded 3rd position on Points Per Game (1.66) (Reached National League Play-Off Final but lost to Harrogate Town)
The Gaffer: Neal Ardley, a former midfielder that played for Wimbledon, Watford, Cardiff City and Millwall, is the current Magpies Manager. His first managerial role was with the Cardiff City Youth Academy, prior to taking the reins at AFC Wimbledon, where he spent six seasons between 2012 & 2018. He was out of work for just ten days before being appointed County manager on 23rd November 2018. He was unable to prevent relegation to the National League, but had a positive first season in the National League, despite just missing out of promotion back up to League Two, losing to Harrogate Town in the play-off final.
There were a total of 18 departures from Meadow Lane in the off-season, with Neal Ardley certainly shaking up his squad. Most of these players have ended up going to other National League clubs. Pierce Bird and Joe McDonnell went to Eastleigh while Tom Crawford and Declan Dunn went to Hartlepool United and Chesterfield respectively. Regan Booty also left the club and is currently a free agent, he will feature of Shots TV LIVE for this weekend’s show, the former Shots man providing us with a perspective from both sides of the clash.
Having made his loan move from Scunthorpe United permanent in January, front man Kyle Wootton was retained and has already bagged four goals for the Magpies this season, having notched 13 in the last campaign. Dutch winger Enzio Boldewijn is always a threat and now enters his third season with the club. He scored eight goals last season and has already got one in the opening five games of this season. 39-year-old Michael Doyle is also among the names who were there last season with his experience and quality in midfield continuing to prove vital to County’s football.
Ardley has added ten new faces to his Notts County squad. The majority of these additions have been brought in from League Two clubs. Centre forward Scott Wilson, goalkeeper Luke Pilling and midfielder Jake Reeves have all arrived from League Two sides to strengthen the spine of the team. Other notable incomings include Ruben Rodrigues and Elisha Sam.
After perhaps a surprising opening day defeat to Dover Athletic, the Magpies recovered well with three wins in a row against Altrincham, Barnet and Sutton United before being beaten at home by Maidenhead United. They were then due to play an FA Cup fixture against King’s Lynn Town before the positive Covid tests within the squad surfaced, meaning they had to isolate for a two-week period. The Magpies have not played a match since that 3-2 defeat to Maidenhead three weeks ago.
The referee for Saturday’s match is Scott Tallis. Scott has taken charge of four matches so far in the National League this season, dishing out a total of 14 yellow cards.
The match will be streamed and available on ‘Shots TV Live’ with Presenter Mark Butler, Match Commentator Rob Worrall and they will be joined by Special Guests; Regan Booty and Lewis Kinsella in the studio at The EBB Stadium from 1:30pm. BBC Radio Surrey will also be covering the match live with live online commentary.
You can watch the match live HERE