Shots v Sutton United match preview – Saturday 18 March 2017
Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Guiseley saw The Shots taste defeat for the first time in 12 matches – their longest unbeaten run in nine years.
Jordan Preston’s 54th minute solo effort ultimately separated the sides as Gary Waddock’s men were left to rue a failure to capitalise upon their first half dominance.
Rob Worrall previews the action…
Town began strongly at Nethermoor Park, giving the home defence a torrid time in the first half. The best chance fell to Shamir Fenelon, but home keeper Jonny Maxted pushed his rising shot onto the bar. Guiseley also hit the woodwork in the opening period and nine minutes after the break they scored what proved to be the only goal of the game, as Preston pounced on a misplaced pass, set off from the half-way line, shrugged off a couple of challenges and placed his shot low to Jake Cole’s left. The Shots were rocked by the setback and lost their rhythm for a while. The nearest they came to an equaliser was late on, when Matt McClure hit the post and Jake Gallagher, in following up, was twice denied from close range.
Once again, Gary Waddock was forced to make one change last weekend, with Bernard Mensah picking up an injury in training. Matt McClure came into the side to replace him. Jim Kellermann will serve the third match of his four-match suspension this weekend. Manny Oyeleke has completed his loan with Canvey Island but, having picked up a hamstring strain, is expected to be unavailable until next weekend.
The Shots only other confirmed (long-term) absentee for this match will be central midfielder Liam Bellamy, who had an operation in February on his lateral knee ligament. Liam is due to see a Specialist next week for a further assessment.
Sutton United were formed in 1898 and, after 43 years in the Athenian League, were elected to the Isthmian League in 1964. Their third league title in 1985-86 earned them promotion to the Conference for the first time, where they stayed for five seasons. They spent another campaign in the non-league top flight in 1999-2000, before dropping back to the Ryman League Premier Division. They won that league in 2010-11, before twice making the National League South Play-Offs, losing at the semi-final stage to Welling United in 2011-12 and Dover Athletic in 2013-14. However, the Us were promoted back to the non-league top flight as Champions last season, six points clear of second-placed Ebbsfleet United.
The U’s have had a solid first season back at National League level, sitting in mid-table for most of it. They have enjoyed considerable success in the FA Cup this season, knocking out Football League sides AFC Wimbledon and Leeds United before eventually bowing out at the last sixteen stage, to Premier League Arsenal. On Tuesday evening, they lost 2-1 at home to promotion chasing Forest Green Rovers and, coming into this game, have won 2, drawn 2 and lost 3 of their last 7 league games.
Despite having 39 different players at his disposal over the course of the season to date, Manager Paul Doswell has kept a fairly settled side in recent weeks.
Key players include:
Roarie Deacon – on the books of Arsenal as a youngster, Roarie is a former England U-19 and Crawley player. Top scorer with 9 goals
Jamie Collins – Captain & former Shot, who scored both goals v Town in the reverse fixture back in November.
Nicky Bailey – Former Barnet, Charlton & Middlesbrough midfielder. Played in Premier League. Scored a 30-yarder v York City last Saturday.
Keiron Cadogan – Former Crystal Palace, Aldershot Town and Barnet winger, recently joined Sutton United after a spell in Sweden
Saturday afternoon sees the thirteenth meeting between these two sides with the Shots winning five, losing four and drawing three.
Earlier this season, Gary Waddock’s men went down 2-0 at Gander Green Lane, with ex-Shot Jamie Collins scoring both goals and Jake Gallagher sent off for the visitors.
Eight of the twelve games took place in the Ryman Leaguer Premier Division between 1998 and 2003. Winger Rhys Browne scored the only goal of the game as Town beat United in the 4th Qualifying Round of the FA Cup in October 2015. The Shots managed a four-point haul against The U’s in their 2002-03 promotion-winning season. Roscoe D’Sane’s scored twice in the 3-2 home win on Boxing Day 2002, whilst he also netted in the 1-1 draw at Gander Green Lane on 21 March 2003 that secured the Shots’ promotion to the non-league top flight for the first time.
Aldershot Town failed to win any of their four Ryman League Premier Division games at Gander Green Lane, with the home side’s biggest win coming courtesy of a 5-0 victory in April 1999. The Shots drew 1-1 in April 2001 thanks to a goal from Lee Protheroe, whilst they also succumbed to a 2-0 loss in October of that year. There were also two First Round FA Cup games between Aldershot FC and Sutton United. The Shots won 4-0 in November 1963, whilst the Us caused the upset with a 3-0 home victory 24 years later.
Saturday’s match referee is Neil Hair, who has taken charge of 22 National League games this season, issuing 62 yellow and two red cards. He has previously refereed Aldershot Town on two occasions this season – the 1-0 home win v Maidstone and the 1-1 draw at Boreham Wood.
BBC Surrey’s Rob Worrall and former Aldershot Town goalkeeper Nikki Bull will be covering the game on Saturday. Tune in to the BBC Sport website from 2.50pm for full match commentary.
You can also contact us throughout the afternoon via Twitter. Tweet your predictions and thoughts on the game to @bbcsurreysport and @RobShot66