Guiseley v Aldershot Town – Match Preview – Saturday 23 December 2017
Aldershot Town return to National League action this weekend, as they travel to Yorkshire, to take on Guiseley at Nethermoor Park
Rob Worrall previews the action…
Shots manager Gary Waddock hopes to have a couple of players return to the playing squad this weekend, but he will have to make do without Ipswich Town loanee midfielder Adam McDonnell, who was recalled by his parent club on Thursday. Scott Rendell, Matt McClure, James Rowe and skipper Callum Reynolds all missed last Saturday’s FA Trophy defeat at East Thurrock United and Waddock will assess their fitness before finalising his matchday squad for Guiseley. Nick Arnold is expected to be out until at least March 2018.
Opposition – Guiseley FC:
Nickname: The Lions
Ground: Nethermoor Park
Manager: Paul Cox
Current Position: 23rd
Both of The Lions’ National League campaigns have seen them in a battle at the wrong end of the table, only to twice secure safety on the final day of the season. Their 1-0 home victory over Aldershot Town in March 2017 ultimately proved key to their survival, as they subsequently went on to finish 2017-18 with two defeats and three draws.
Paul Cox took the reins at Guiseley AFC in September, after leaving Barrow by mutual consent. A former player with Notts County and several non-league clubs, Cox moved into coaching at Eastwood Town in 2003, becoming the manager in 2005. He won the Northern Premier League title in 2008-09, before leaving the club to join Mansfield Town in 2011, and led them to the Conference Premier title in 2012–13. He left Field Mill in November 2014 and, after a brief spell in charge of Torquay United, Cox took the manager’s role at Barrow. Last season he led them to a 25-match unbeaten mid-season run, before they narrowly missed out on a play-off place.
The Lions won just one of their opening eight National League fixtures, a run which led to the departure of previous manager Adam Lockwood. Upon Cox’s arrival, they drew his first four matches in charge but had to wait until his eighth match for a win. Guiseley rallied, taking eight points from a four-game spell in October. However, of their last six National League fixtures, four have been lost and the other two postponed and The Lions are without a league win since their 3-2 victory at Woking on 28th October. On Wednesday evening, they lost 2-1 – in extra time – to Gateshead in the FA Trophy.
Cox inherited a squad that included some key retentions from last season, most notably highly-rated goalkeeper Jonny Maxted, ex-Shots loanee Danny East and midfielders Will Hatfield and Jake Lawlor.
Lockwood singed several players with Football League experience in the summer, including Connor Brown, a right-back from Oldham Athletic (his second spell at Guiseley), midfielders Kevan Hurst (Mansfield Town), Alex Purver (Leeds United) and winger Lee Molyneux from Morecambe. Highly-rated former Wrexham loanee John Rooney signed a permanent deal and is the Club’s joint-top scorer this season, with five goals to date. A Cox signing – Mike Fondop-Talum from Oxford City – also has five. Cox has also brought in Rowan Liburd on loan from Stevenage and he has also chipped in with three goals. Midfielders Liam Hughes and Alex Ray-Harvey have followed Cox from Barrow, the latter for a £10,000 transfer fee.
Aldershot Town and Guiseley AFC have faced each other in the National League on five occasions to date, with The Shots winning four and losing just once. When the two sides met back in August, Town romped to their biggest win of the season. Two goals from Matt McClure plus further strikes from Callum Reynolds, Jim Kellermann, Shamir Fenelon and James Rowe saw The Shots continue their 100% start to the season with a 6-0 victory. The Lions’ only win came back 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 against Guiseley 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, in which The Shots prevailed, ending Guiseley’s long unbeaten run in a 3-0 victory with Aiden O’Brien among the scorers.
Saturday’s referee is Andrew Miller, who has refereed 10 matches so far this season, showing 28 yellow cards and two red cards to date. He previously refereed Aldershot Town in their 2-0 defeat at Macclesfield Town. It’s his third appearance at Nethermoor Park this season, with both matches ending in draws.
BBC Surrey’s Rob Worrall and a special guest will be covering the game on Saturday, bringing live commentary via the BBC Sport website (or the BBC Sport App) from 2:50pm. You can also contact Rob throughout the afternoon via Twitter. Get in touch by tweeting @RobShot66 or posting in the Aldershot Town Fans Facebook Group.