Following last week’s 6-1 away defeat at Dagenham & Redbridge, Aldershot Town return to the EBB for the first time in three weeks on Saturday, to host Notts County for the first time ever at National League level.
Rob Worrall previews the action;
Left Back Lewis Kinsella is available again, following his one match suspension for the Dagenham match. Shots Manager Danny Searle should have all bar one of his playing squad to select from. Only George Fowler remains out, long term, with a recurrence of last season’s knee injury.
Name: Notts County FC
Nickname: The Magpies
Manager: Neal Ardley
Stadium: Meadow Lane (Capacity: 19,841)
2018/19 Relegated from League Two
Notts County are the oldest professional football club in the world and were founder members of the inaugural Football League formed in 1888. They moved to Meadow Lane in 1910 and have played there ever since. They finished third in the top flight of English football in the 1890–91 season, which remains their highest ever league position. They also reached the 1891 FA Cup Final, finishing as runners-up to Blackburn Rovers. They most recently played in the top flight of English football in the 1991-92 season. Just six years later they found themselves back in the basement division, bouncing between League Two and League One, until their relegation from the Football League at the end of last season. Two of their former managers also spent time with Aldershot FC – Jimmy Sirrell and Neil Warnock.
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 23 rd November 2018. He was unable to prevent relegation to the National League, but has remained in charge this season.
Ardley had to be patient in pre-season and await confirmation of the club’s new ownership before he could make new signings. He kept 12 of last season’s squad, including forwards Kristian Dennis (six goals this season) and Enzo Boldewijn (five goals to date), midfielder Jim O’Brien and Full Back Christian Ox-Chamberlain (brother of Liverpool & England’s Alex). Ardley has brought in 13 new players to date, including Regan Booty, who was on loan at Aldershot Town last season. Striker Wes Thomas was another key signing and he has five goals already since signing from Grimsby Town.
Saturday’s referee is Tom Reeves, who will be taking charge of his tenth National League match of the season, having shown 31 yellow cards and no red
cards during his opening nine matches. He has not taken charge of a Shots game to date.
BBC Surrey Sport’s Rob Worrall and former Aldershot Town FC Director Tommy Anderson will be covering the game live on Saturday. Tune in to the BBC Sport website (or the BBC Sport App) from 2:50pm for full match commentary. To interact with them, tweet @RobShot66