WHO ARE THE SHOTS PLAYING?
Aldershot Town return to Vanarama National League action at home to Hartlepool tomorrow afternoon. The game is the first of a double header at the EBB, with Maidenhead visiting on Tuesday night, and it comes following the Shots progression into the first round proper of the FA Cup after a 4-1 win against Lewes last weekend.
Visiting the EBB are Hartlepool United. Also known as either the Pools or the Monkey Hangers, Hartelpool have been in existence since June 1908, making them 115 years old. Hartlepool will be making a 400+ mile round trip from their home ground Victoria Park.
The meeting is the first between the sides since Hartelpool’s promotion in 2020/21. The Pools went up via the playoffs that season, and were victorious on both occasions in the National League, winning 3-1 at the EBB and 2-1 at Victoria Park on their way to promotion.
Hartlepool haven’t lost a National League game to Aldershot since 2018, when Scott Rendell and Manny Oyeleke were on the scoresheet for the Shots at the EBB, their goals making it a National League double over the recently relegated Hartlepool. Hartlepool are back in the National League for the first time since their promotion last season, with hope that history will repeat itself and the Shots will take the points again this Saturday against a recently relegated Hartlepool.
HOW DID THEY DO LAST SEASON:
The Pools were a Football League outfit last season, but joined Rochdale as both sides dropped into non-league football come the end of the season. Hartlepool won 9 of their 46 League Two matches, and finished three points behind Crawley in 22nd place in League Two.
Hartlepool went to the third round of the FA Cup last season, entering in the first round and knocking out Solihull Moors and Harrogate Town on their way to being defeated 3-0 by Stoke in the third round. The Carabao Cup was a little less successful for Hartlepool, as they lost 4-0 to Blackburn in the first round.
The Pools will be glad to have retained last season’s top scorer Josh Umerah and top appearance maker & captain David Ferguson. Ferguson played 49 times in all competitions last season, and Umerah scored 15 goals over the course of the season.
23/24 SO FAR:
Coming into this clash Hartlepool are occupying the final playoff spot in the National League, and sit one point above the Shots in 7th place. After starting the season on a loss at Barnet, Hartlepool went on to pick up 5 wins of their next 6 against Gateshead, Maidenhead, Southend, Fylde and Wealdstone, the one loss coming to Chesterfield.
A tough run followed, and Hartlepool have won just twice in their last 8 National League games against Dagenham and Eastleigh, also picking up a point against Altrincham. Last weekend Hartlepool were also sent out of the FA Cup by Chester
FORM GUIDE: LWLLL
IN THE DUGOUT:
Former York manager John Askey is currently in charge of Hartlepool. Askey made over 500 appearances for Macclesfield during his playing days, and remained in the setup as a coach following his retirement. He was given a shot at the team in 2003/04, but went back into the youth sides until 2013. He then managed the side from 2013 to 2018, leaving the side to manage Shrewsbury. He then went on to manage Port Vale, and then joined York in 2021. Askey took York up from the National League North, but left the side in 2022, and has been Hartlepool manager since February 2023.
The Shots are currently running a ticket deal with both Hartlepool and Maidenhead tickets available as a package. The package means that Shots fans can save 25%, with the bundle making the pair of tickets £30 rather than the regular £40 for Adults, and each ticket bracket will see a decrease in price. Tickets are available HERE, and must be purchased before tomorrow’s game, so get yours now!
NOTE: Both tickets must be purchased at the same time.
IF YOU CAN’T MAKE IT:
Live updates will be available from our social media platforms Twitter (@OfficialShots), Instagram (@aldershottownfcofficial), and Facebook. After the game, highlights will be available on our YouTube channel.
Live commentary will be provided by BBC Radio Surrey via Rob Worrall and a guest summariser.