Match Preview: Shots v Chesterfield

Aldershot Town v Chesterfield Match Preview – Saturday 19th December 2019

After eighteen days without a competitive game, Aldershot Town return to National League action at the EBB Stadium on Saturday. Both ‘The Shots and their visitors, The Spireites (Chesterfield), find themselves in the relegation zone coming into the match. Gary Waddock’s men will be keen to end an unwanted new club record of thirteen games without a win in all competitions. BBC Surrey’s Rob Worrall previews the action.

Shots Squad:
Whilst the enforced break will have given those Aldershot Town players with minor niggles the perfect opportunity to rest, recover and re-charge, Gary Waddock will still come into Saturday’s game with several medium to long term absentees. James Rowe continues his recovery, whilst George Fowler’s injury may require him to see another specialist. Scott Rendell is targeting February for his comeback. On the plus side, Luke Howell took part in both ‘behind closed doors’ matches last week (4-3 and 2-1 victories against QPR and Barnet XI’s respectively). The situation with Jake Cole, Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong and Shamir Fenelon is unclear at the time of going to press. However, The Shots should have at least one, possibly more re-enforcements in their match day squad come Saturday. Following his recent loan spell Gerry McDonagh has signed a permanent deal with Aldershot Town until the end of next season and more incoming news is due to follow the publication of this match preview.

Name: Chesterfield
Nickname: The Spireites
Manager: John Sheridan
Stadium: Proact Stadium (Capacity: 10,504)
2017/18 league position: 24th (Sky Bet League Two)
Current National League position: 22nd

Brief History:
Chesterfield F.C was established in 1866 and turned professional in 1891 before changing its name to Chesterfield Town. They were founder members of the Third Division in 1921 and members of the Football League throughout the 97 years since, until relegation back in May 2018.
Chesterfield overcame a financial crisis in 2001 when the supporters trust took control, having to put it into administration before passing its running on to four wealthy local supporters who steered it back to solvency. In 2010, the Spireites moved from Saltergate, their atmospheric home since 1871, and settled in to the 10,000-seat Proact Stadium.

The Gaffer:
Following the recent departure of Martin Allen, John Sheridan has returned to Chesterfield to commence his second spell in charge of The Spireites. The 54-year-old is a former midfielder that played more than 600 Football League games, the vast majority for Leeds United, Sheffield Wednesday and Oldham Athletic. He was also capped 34 times by Republic of Ireland. Following a stint at the helm of Oldham, Sheridan’s took the reins at Chesterfield for an eventful few seasons in which he guided them to promotion and the League Two title, a Wembley win in the Football League Trophy and relegation back to League Two. He went on to manage Plymouth Argyle, Newport County, Notts County, Fleetwood and Carlisle United, with a couple more re-appearances back at Oldham in-between. Last month he left Carlisle in order to take up the current challenge at The Proact.

Chesterfield Playing Squad:
Chesterfield’s relegation from League Two inevitably brought with it a lot of player movement. The departure of star striker Kristian Dennis, who left for Notts County, as well as loanees Andy Kellett and Louis Reed returning to their parent clubs meant the Spireites lost three of their four leading goal scorers from last season. Martin Allen began a rebuild at the club and made some promising signings, quite a few of which have since left. A pillar of strength at the back for The Spireites is former Shot Will Evans, who single-handily earned his side a vital point in the recent 3-3 draw v Ebbsfleet United as he scored an equalising goal AND went in goal to save a penalty during stoppage time! Another success has been midfielder Jonathan Smith, (who has also scored some crucial late equalisers!) after initially joining on loan from Stevenage and he has now signed a permanent deal. Former FC Halifax Town and Alfreton target man Tom Denton is the focal point of Chesterfield’s attack and has scored a healthy ten goals in all competitions since joining them a third of the way into the season. More recently, the club have brought in a couple of loanees from Sheffield United; Right Back Jake Bennett and Forward Jordan Hallam.

Saturday’s referee is Josh Smith. So far this season, Smith has taken the middle in 11 National League matches showing 44 yellow cards and 2 red cards. He has not refereed either Aldershot Town or Chesterfield this season to date.

BBC Surrey Sport’s Rob Worrall and a special guest will be covering the game live on Saturday afternoon. Tune in to the BBC Sport website (or the BBC Sport App) from 2:50pm for full match commentary. To interact with the commentary team, tweet @RobShot66.