Aldershot Town return to National League action on Saturday with a trip to the Chigwell Construction Stadium to take on 15th placed Dagenham & Redbridge.
Rob Worrall previews the action:
Shots Manager Danny Searle has the right kind of selection headache this weekend, with an almost fully fit squad to choose from. In Tuesday evening’s friendly at Slough Town, James Rowe played another 60 minutes against the Conference South side and Striker Connor Shields is also pushing for inclusion, following an impressive hat-trick in the same game. Only George Fowler remains out, long term, with a recurrence of last season’s knee injury.
Name: Dagenham & Redbridge FC
Nickname: The Daggers
Manager: Peter Taylor
Stadium: Victoria Road (Capacity: 6,078)
2017/18 National League position: 18th
Dagenham & Redbridge were formed 27 years ago and first reached the Football League in 2007 after six seasons in the then Conference. Two seasons later, the Daggers over-came Rotherham in dramatic fashion at Wembley to clinch promotion to League One but were relegated straight back down to League Two after finishing 21st in the third tier of football. Another relegation followed four seasons later, this time it was to the National League where they have now been for three seasons.
Peter Taylor had spells with Dartford, Enfield and Southend early in his managerial career before taking charge of Premier League Leicester City. He famously named David Beckham as captain in his one game in-charge of the England national team. The experienced manager has overseen five promotions with four different clubs; Brighton & Hove Albion, Gillingham, Wycombe Wanderers and Hull City. Taylor was appointed manager at Victoria Road earlier in the summer of 2018.
Taylor has had his fair share of injuries this season and they will, most notably, be without top scorer Angelo Balanta on Saturday. With several other players also injured or carrying knocks, Taylor has brought in three players over the last couple of weeks. Midfielder Sam Deering, most recently at Billericay Town, is likely to make his debut against Aldershot and fellow incomers, striker Ben House (on loan from Reading) and Toby Stevenson (on loan from Charlton) also help strengthen Taylor’s hand as he looks to end a run of four straight defeats in all competitions. Former Shots striker Reece Grant is now at Dagenham and has three goals this season to date, as is former Bromley striker Joe Quigley who is second top scorer with four goals this season.
Saturday’s referee is Ryan Atkin, who will be taking charge of his fourth National League match of the season. One of the previous three was Aldershot Town’s 3-0 defeat at home to Hartlepool United last month.
BBC Surrey Sports Rob Worrall and England C Coach Mick Payne 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 & @Goalkeeping11.