The Shots will go into the 2018-19 Vanarama National League season, which starts tomorrow, looking for an 18th opening day victory in 27 attempts.
In their previous 26 campaigns since 1992, Aldershot Town have won 17, drawn five and lost just four of their first fixtures. 15 of those games have been at the EBB Stadium, with 11 away from home.
Ever since that tumultuous Diadora Division Three bow in August 1992, which saw The Shots 2-0 down in 27 minutes against Clapton before storming back with four goals 35 minutes to secure a first-ever victory, Aldershot Town have enjoyed a fine and enthralling record to start the season.
Victories against Egham Town, Billericay Town and Bognor Regis Town soon followed – along with a home draw against Heybridge Swifts – before old rivals Chertsey Town inflicted a first opening day defeat in 1997. Draws at Purfleet and against Sutton United came either side of a late winner at Hendon in 1999. The Shots started 2001 with a home win against Enfield, and in 2002 started as they meant to carry on, a 3-1 victory at Hitchin Town setting Terry Brown’s team on their way to promotion from the Ryman Premier Division.
Aldershot Town’s return to nationwide football was broadcast live on Sky in 2003, with a sweltering 2-1 victory over Accrington Stanley, before York City were despatched 2-0 in 2004.
Tamworth snatched their own 2-0 victory the next season, but 2006 saw one of the very best, as The Shots came from two goals down, with Ryan Scott sliding in in front of the East Bank to secure a last-minute win against Gravesend and Northfleet.
Scott Davies inspired the famous 2-1 victory at Aggborough which kick-started the 2008-09 Blue Square Premier title-winning season, whilst Scott Donnelly’s superb free-kick illuminated The Shots’ first Football League fixture, also against Stanley.
Fine League Two victories against Darlington, Bradford City and Plymouth Argyle followed, along with a goalless draw from a third encounter with Accrington, and The Shots marked their return to the National League with a fine battling draw at Grimsby in 2013.
Altrincham were beaten 3-1 in 2014, but two rare defeats followed, 2-1 against Gateshead and 1-0 at Barrow in Gary Waddock’s first game back in charge at the EBB Stadium.
Most recently, The Shots earned a deserved 2-0 victory at The Shay in August 2017, as Shamir Fenelon and a James Rowe penalty beat FC Halifax Town – and we now await the visit of Barnet to kick-start 46-game rollercoaster ride!