Aldershot Town v Guiseley – Match Preview – Saturday 12 August 2017
Having kicked off the 2017-18 season with two victories, Aldershot Town sit top of the early National League table. On Saturday, they will face Guiseley AFC at the EBB Stadium – the only team to so far beat them in the National League regular season in this calendar year.
Rob Worrall previews the action…
With the exception of Will Evans (broken toe) and Bernard Mensah (hamstring strain) Aldershot Town manager Gary Waddock should have a full playing squad to choose from. Shamir Fenelon has begun the season in fine form, scoring in both of the opening matches and also assisting Bobby-Joe Taylor’s first Aldershot Town goal on Tuesday night. Shaun Okojie’s fine header, from a James Rowe corner, means that all three of Waddock’s new additions in attack have now scored their first Shots goals.
Opposition – Guiseley AFC
Nickname: The Lions
Ground: Nethermoor Park
Manager: Adam Lockwood
Both of The Lions’ National League seasons have seen them in a battle at the wrong end of the table, and only securing safety on the final day. Their 1-0 home victory over Aldershot Town in March 2017 ultimately proved key to their survival as subsequently went on to finish 2016-17 with 2 defeats and 3 draws.
Adam Lockwood began his career as a trainee with Reading FC and spent time on loan with Maidenhead United, Forest Green Rovers and Yeovil Town, before joining the latter on a permanent deal in October 2001. He was part of the side that won the FA Trophy in May 2002 and he helped Yeovil Town win the Conference and League Two titles in his time at the club, making 137 appearances in total.
Lockwood moved to Doncaster in July 2006 and stayed for six years, making 180 appearances for Rovers. Following a brief spell at Bury, he signed for Guiseley AFC. After several appearances, he caught the attention of Oldham Athletic whom he briefly joined prior to re-signing for The Lions. In August 2016, he stepped in as Interim Manager of the club and was soon appointed on a permanent basis. In his 47 games in charge he has won 14, drawn 13 and lost 19.
Lockwood, a centre-back by trade, remains registered as a member of the Guiseley AFC playing squad. He chose to release four players in the summer, in Derek Asamoah, Luke Porritt, Joel Logan and Javan Vidal. He also lost three strikers to other clubs: top scorer Jake Cassidy (Hartlepool United), Adam Boyes (Bradford Park Avenue) and Michael Rankine (York City). Attacking midfielder Jordan Preston signed for Gateshead and reserve goalkeeper Dan Atkinson also moved on.
He retained the services of twelve players, including highly-rated goalkeeper Jonny Maxted, former Shots loanee Danny East and midfielders Will Hatfield, Jake Lawlor and James Wesolowski.
Lockwood has also strengthened his playing ranks with a further 14 players, giving him a 26-man squad to pick from – the fourth-largest squad in the National League. Incoming players – several with Football League experience – include Connor Brown, a right back from Oldham Athletic (his second spell at Nethermoor Park), midfielders Kevan Hurst (Mansfield Town), Alex Purver (Leeds United) and winger Lee Molyneux from Morecambe. Highly-rated former Wrexham loanee John Rooney has now signed a permanent deal, and The Lions also have a completely new striking department. Reece Thompson, who scored 12 National League goals for relegated North Ferriby United last season spearheads their attack and forwards Kayode Odejayi (Stockport County), Frank Mulhern (Huddersfield Town) and Blackpool loanee Raul Correira complete Guiseley’s striking options.
The Lions drew their opening National League fixture 2-2 with newly promoted Ebbsfleet United, with Thompson and Rooney on the scoresheet. They followed that up with a 1-0 defeat at Gateshead on Tuesday evening. Guiseley finished the 2016-17 season with two defeats and three draws, so come into Saturday’s game without a win in their last seven league matches.
Aldershot Town and Guiseley AFC have faced each other in the National League on four occasions to date, with The Shots winning three and losing just once – the last time the two sides met, in March 2017, when Jordan Preston’s fine individual second-half goal secured the points for The Lions. Earlier in the 2016-17 season, The Shots won their home game thanks to a solitary strike by Charlie Walker. In the 2015-16 season, Town won both matches between the two sides. On their first ever visit to Nethermoor Park, The Shots ran out 4-0 winners thanks to goals from Richard Brodie (2), Jim Stevenson and a fine individual strike by Cheye Alexander. Later that season a late Tom Richards strike secured the points for Aldershot Town at the EBB Stadium. The two sides also met in the FA Trophy, when The Shots prevailed to end Guiseley AFC’s long unbeaten run, with Aiden O’Brien among the scorers in a 3-0 victory.
Tuesday’s referee is Sam Allison. Last season he took the middle in 23 National League matches, showing 90 yellow cards and 2 red cards. He refereed Aldershot Town twice in 2016-17, both resulting in home victories, against North Ferriby United (2-0) and Bromley (4-0). This season Allison has taken the middle just once, for the opening day 0-0 draw between Torquay United and Tranmere Rovers, in which he sent off both Steve McNulty and James Norwood for the visitors.
BBC Surrey’s Rob Worrall and ex-Shots goalkeeper Nikki Bull will be covering the game live on Saturday evening. Tune in to the BBC Sport website (or the BBC Sport App) from 2.45pm for full match commentary. You can also contact us throughout the afternoon via Twitter: tweet your predictions and thoughts on the game to @RobShot66 and @BullWorldTrip.
Alternatively, follow @OfficialShots for live text commentary.