Following Saturday’s narrow home defeat to Dagenham & Redbridge, Aldershot Town travel to Meadow Lane on Tuesday, to take on Notts County there for the first time at National League level.
Rob Worrall previews the action;
Left Back Lewis Kinsella remains out with a knee injury, as does Right Back Robbie Tinkler. Mo Bettamer is close to a return from his ankle injury. New signings Gyliano Van Velsen, Yannis Drais, and top scorer Ethan Chislett all came off the bench on Saturday and continue to push for a starting place.
Name: Notts County FC
Nickname: The Magpies
Manager: Neal Ardley
Stadium: Meadow Lane (Capacity: 19,841)
2018/19 Relegated from League Two
2019/20 Current National League Position: 6th
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 23rd November 2018. He was unable to prevent relegation to the National League, but has remained in charge this season and guided the Magpies to a play-off position, with just ten games remaining.
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 (11 goals in all competitions this season) and Enzio Boldewijn (7 goals to date) and midfielder Jim O’Brien. Ardley has brought in several new players, including Regan Booty, who was on loan at Aldershot Town last season. Striker Wes Thomas was another key signing and he has 8 goals since signing from Grimsby Town. Forward Kyle Wootton has been a revelation since joining permanently from Scunthopre United, having initially been at Meadow Lane on loan. He is the club’s current top scorer with 15 goals to date. More recently, Ardley has strengthened his ranks with the likes of Winger Callum Roberts (Blyth Spartans), forward Scott Wilson (on loan from Oldham Athletic) and Defender Adam Long (on loan from Wigan Athletic).
Tuesday evening’s referee is Simon Mather, who will be taking charge of his 15th National League match of the season, having shown 59 yellow cards and 5 red cards during his opening nine matches. He has not taken charge of a Shots game to date.
BBC Surrey Sports Rob Worrall and injured Aldershot Town defender Lewis Kinsella will be covering the game live on Tuesday evening. Tune in to the BBC Sport website (or the BBC Sport App) from 7:35pm for full match commentary. To interact with them, tweet @RobShot66 and/or @Lewis_kinsella.