MATCH PREVIEW: Welwyn Garden City (A) (FA Trophy 3rd Round)

Aldershot Town will be looking to progress to the 4th round of the Buildbase FA Trophy as they travel to Herns Way to face Southern League Division One Central side Welwyn Garden City.

Kirshon Wilkins previews the game:

Shots Squad:

Four players are working their way back into contention with the likes of Alex Finney (hamstring), Craig Tanner (TBC), Ross McCormack (Achilles) and Lewis Kinsella (MCL) all pushing to be back as soon as possible. A few players could be rested for this game with others getting their chance to gain a spot in the first-team. Midfielder Alfy Whittingham is available for selection again with a few academy graduates potentially involved.


Name: Welwyn Garden City

Founded: 1921

Nickname: The Citizens

Manager: Nick Ironton

Stadium: Herns Way

2019/20 Final position: Southern League Division One Central (season abandoned)

2020/21 Current position: 11th

The Gaffer:

England semi-professional international midfielder Ironton had a great career winning two Conference titles, an FA Trophy with Enfield and a third Conference title with Barnet, having begun his professional career at QPR.

Ironton has managed Arlesey Town in two spells, winning three successive Isthmian League promotions and taking the Bedfordshire side to the first round of the FA Cup and quarter-finals of the FA Trophy. He has also helped shape the career of well-known names such as Dave Kitson, Craig Mackail-Smith and Jack Midson at Arlesey Town.

Ironton has spent two seasons at Ware, saving the East Hertfordshire club from relegation and has also managed Conference South club, Hemel Hempstead. Welwyn Garden City moved swiftly to replace Dean Barker who left for Kings Langley shortly before the 2019/20 season and they looked no further than Ironton who lives in Welwyn Garden City.


17 players have left the club. Eusebio Da-Silva left the club in October to pursue a footballing career with FC Romania of the Isthmian League South Central Division. JP Antwi, Connor Clarke, Ollie Carey, Matt Crook, Ashley Kersey, Will McClelland, Jordan Lawal, Connor Sansom, Rory Satterly-Hull, Toby Cleaver, Alex Harries, Romelle Alomenu, David Owen, Callem Kingsley, Aundre Spencer and Geraldo Smaldone have taken pastures new.


16 players have stayed on at Welwyn Garden City from last season. Player-coach Jack Bradshaw and club skipper Jesse Walklin head up the list of retainments. Goalkeeper Charlie Jones, centre-back Jay Rolfe, midfielder George Ironton and forwards Elliot Bailey and Brodie Carrington are all back playing for the club this campaign. Full-back Abhushan Pant re-joined the club after a loan spell with Welwyn towards the end of last season as well as Greg Adinna who used to play for Barnet. Versatile defender Lee Close re-joins after a spell with Barton Rovers, Dylan Ebengo, Jonny Sexton, Dave Keenleyside, Charlie Payne, Thomas Opoku and Jack Vasey are also retained.


14 players have signed for the Citizens. Joe Bennett signed for Welwyn Garden City four days ago to strengthen their midfield.  In October, they bolstered their squad with three more signings. Ironton added centre-backs Sam Marfo and Ben Spranger and provided competition upfront with the signings of Lanre Balogun and Patrick Akwasi. Japanese striker Jo Takai, Stevenage academy prospect Robbie Buchanan, Patrick Tshikala, a member of the title-winning side, Carl Mensah, Malcolm Podier, Charlie Crowley, Caleb Steele, Scott Knight and Rob Banks have also signed.


Welwyn Garden City’s form has been good this season with seven wins, three draws and only two losses in all competitions. The Hertfordshire club will be looking to cause an upset on Saturday so this game will not be easy for the Shots.


Saturday afternoon’s referee is Robert Whitton with his assistants Karl Sear and Paul Stratton and the fourth official officiating the game is Graham Swanton along with observer Michael Bull.

Match Coverage:

The live commentary will also be available online, via BBC Radio Surrey Sport or the BBC Sport App, from 2:50pm.