WHO ARE THE SHOTS PLAYING?
Aldershot’s travels continue following defeat at Meadowbank last weekend, this time with a trip to Football League side Swindon in the FA Cup. The Shots previous round victory against Lewes was the second game in a run of four straight wins, and defeat at Dorking was just the third time in 12 games Tommy Widdrington had tasted defeat.
Following last weekend’s action Widdrington described this weekend’s clash as “a free hit”, but still said he wants the Shots to “go there and express ourselves in a good manner that gives us a really good representation of Aldershot Town.” By there, he is referring to Swindon, namely the County Ground, which is where Swindon play their matches.
Known as “the Robins” Swindon are based in Wiltshire, and have been in existence since 1879. Despite currently playing in League Two the Robins have been as high as the Premier League, where they played in 1993/94, finishing 22nd with 30 points in their one and only Premier League season.
The sides met in the FA Youth Cup on Wednesday night at the EBB, with Swindon winning 1-0 to send the young Shots out of the FA Cup as Conor Britchford-Stanley scored the only goal of the game.
The senior sides last met as Swindon were looking to secure promotion from League Two to League One in 2011/12, but at the EBB goals from Guy Madjo and Danny Hylton denied Swindon the point they needed to go up in a 2-1 victory for Aldershot. Swindon had been 2-0 victors over the Shots at the County Ground earlier in the season.
Swindon finished 10th in League Two in 2022/23, picking up 61 points in 46 games, but were quite a way off the fight for the playoffs which went to the wire, with Salford in the final playoff position of 7th place 14 points better off than the Robins come the end of the season.
The FA Cup weekend this time last season was a dissapointing one for Swindon, as they were battered 4-0 by fellow League Two side Stockport to be sent out in the first round. The Carabao Cup and EFL Cup were both as dissapointing, with Swindon failing to win any of the five cup ties they took part in over all competitions last season.
Goalkeeper Sol Brynn played the most minutes on loan from Middlesbrough for the Robins last season, Swindon unable to retain his services for this campaign as he went on loan to League One side Leyton Orient. The Robins were also unable to keep a hold of top goalscorer Jonathan Williams, but Jake Young on loan from Bradford has already matched Williams’ 10 strikes this season.
23/24 SO FAR:
Swindon are currently sitting where they ended last season, 10th place in League Two. 33 goals for and 24 against sees them with a +9 goal difference, and their 23 points has them just three points behind Accrington Stanley in 7th place.
Being a Football League side this is Swindon’s first FA Cup game of the season, but the Robins failed to right the wrongs of last season in the Carabao Cup, losing in the first round on penalties to Peterborough. Swindon are also winless in the now renamed Bristol Street Motors Trophy as they lost on penalties to Arsenal u21s and 5-0 to Reading.
FORM GUIDE: LLDLL
FA CUP HISTORY:
The Robins were knocked out in the FA Cup first round 4-0 by Stockport last season, but the year prior went all the way to the third round. For lower league sides the third round is somewhat of the holy grail, a chance to pull one of the big Premier League sides, and Swindon did just that as they welcomed Manchester City to the County Ground. 21/22 was the first time they had progressed further than the first round since 18/19, when they made it to the second round but were knocked out 1-0 at home.
IN THE DUGOUT:
Standing in the home dugout for Swindon this weekend will be Michael Flynn. Formerly of Newport and Walsall, Flynn got the Swindon gig at the end of the 2022/23 season, as he left Walsall with the side in 15th place after 42 games in 22/23. During his playing career Flynn played for Newport, Barry Town, Blackpool, Wigan, Gillingham, Huddersfield, Darlington, Bradford, Undy, and ended his career back at Newport in 2017/18.
Flynn got Newport to the FA Cup fourth round for the first time since 1979 with a win over Leeds in 2018, and left the side in October 2021, joining Walsall in early 2022 before, as mentioned above, joining Swindon at the end of the 2022/23 season.
PLAYED FOR BOTH:
Shots defender and current penalty taker Cian Harries joined the Shots from Swindon last summer. Harries played 7 times in all competitions for Swindon last season, and has already played 17 times and scored 3 goals for Tommy Widdrington’s side this season. Goalkeeper Lewis Ward played 19 times for Aldershot in 2017/18, keeping 10 clean sheets during his time at the club. Ward joined Swindon in the summer, but is yet to make an appearance for the Robins.
The Shots allocated away tickets of 1229 have SOLD OUT ahead of the game on November 3rd! Information for Shots fans on where to go and all the other bits is available via the hosts’ website HERE. We thank all the Shots fans making the trip for your continued fantastic support!
No ticket sales will be made to Shots supporters on the day and therefore we ask that you do not travel to Swindon if you have not got a ticket. We have been advised that any Shots supporters found to be in home areas of the County Ground will be removed.
The Away kiosk (kiosk 2) will be open and serving refreshments from 12:30pm in the away section of the Arkell’s Stand concourse.
Supporters with tickets are reminded that they are required to sit in their allocated seats.
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.