Aldershot Town picked up their first home win of the 2020-21 National League season last weekend, with a creditable 1-0 victory over title favourites Notts County. Harry Panayiotou’s 64th minute strike earned the team a well-deserved three points.
On Saturday, The Shots travel to the north west of England, to take on promoted Altrincham, for what is the ‘Robins’ second of three consecutive matches at Moss Lane. On Wednesday, they went down to two first-half Solihull Moors strikes.
In association with LV BET, Rob Worrall previews the game:
Lewis Kinsella’s MCL injury will keep him side-lined until Spring 2021. Ross McCormack and Alex Finney are working towards full fitness again after picking up strains during recent games. New loan signing from Middlesbrough, Brad James started against Notts County and will compete with Mitch Walker for the Shots goalkeeping jersey whilst at the club. Aldershot Town Manager Danny Searle has added further to his playing squad this week, with the loan signing of Winger Joseph Hungbo from Watford and a short-term contract for previously unattached Striker Mike Fondop, who last played for Chesterfield, scoring 10 goals in 29 games last season.
Name: Altrincham FC
Nickname: The Robins
Manager: Phil Parkinson
Stadium: Moss Lane
2019/20 National League North Final Position: 5th – promoted via play-offs.
Phil Parkinson – also a Sports Science Lecturer – was appointed ‘Alty’ manager on 28th April 2017, taking over for the final game of the season following the club’s relegation to the Northern Premier League (NPL). Prior to his appointment, he had taken his previous club, Nantwich Town, to the NPL Play-Off Semi-Final. He also took Nantwich to the FA Trophy semi-finals in 2016. As a player, he was a junior at Crewe Alexandra, and then at Reading, before having a year at Port Vale. He made 200+ appearances for Nantwich as a player, where he captained the team that won the FA Vase in 2006, as well as leading the ‘Dabbers’ to promotion from the North West Counties League and UniBond League First Division.
In his time at Moss Lane, Parkinson has gained promotion for Altrincham from the NPL (as Champions) in his first season and reached the play-offs in 2018-19 in National League North before winning promotion to the National League via the play-offs in 2020.
The biggest departure from Moss Lane happened on the eve of the 2020-21 season, when AFC Fylde came in for top scorer Jordan Hulme. Elliott Durrell, Craig Mahon and Steve Drench also moved on, amongst others.
Sixteen ‘Robins’ remained at the club in the close season, including goalkeeper Tony Thompson, Skipper Jake Moult, and forwards Josh Hancock and Dan Mooney.
Parkinson has strengthened his playing squad with the signing of; experienced Centre-Back Ritchie Sutton (Morecambe) and Wingers Yusifo Ceesay (Blackpool) and Matty Kosylo (AFC Fylde) and five others.
It has been a difficult start for the Robins, with just two home games to date and an outbreak of Covid in the camp, meaning an enforced two-week break from playing and training. As a result, the club played seven consecutive away fixtures prior to Wednesday. They have picked up a considerable amount of player injuries too, with up to eight absentees likely on Saturday, of which only Andy White and Ceesay have any chance of being involved in the match day squad.
Saturday’s referee is Andrew Kitchen who has refereed 2 National League matches this season to date, showing 4 Yellow Cards and 0 Red Cards. Last season, he refereed Aldershot Town’s away games at Stockport, Hartlepool and Fylde.
BBC Radio Surrey Sport will be providing Live Online Commentary of the match from 2:50pm with Rob Worrall and special guest, Northern Sports Journalist Chris Pratt. For details of ‘Live Streaming’, visit Altrinchamfc.co.uk