Aldershot Town v Sutton United match preview – Tuesday 24 October 2017
A last-gasp, stoppage-time winner against Tranmere Rovers on Saturday saw Aldershot Town climb back into a Play-Off position in the Natonal League. On Tuesday evening, fifth-placed Sutton United visit The EBB Stadium.
Rob Worrall previews the action…
Bobby-Joe Taylor (knee) remains side-lined along with Nick Arnold (ACL) who is out until at least March. Jake Gallagher has now served his three-match suspension and his return is a timely one, given that Jim Kellermann picked up his fifth yellow card of the season against Rovers. Otherwise, Shots manager Gary Waddock should have the rest of his squad to select from.
Sutton United were formed in 1898. They started out playing in junior local leagues, but progressed into the Athenian League in 1921; the Isthmian League in 1964; and the Conference in 1986. The team fell back into the Isthmian League in 1991. They appeared in the Conference for one more season in 1999-2000 and were founder members of the Conference South (now known as National League South) in 2004. Sutton won the National League South in 2015-16 and since 2016-17 have competed in the National League.
Paul Doswell was appointed in May 2008, joining the club after enjoying great success with Eastleigh. He gained three consecutive promotions to guide The Spitfires from the Wessex League through to the Conference South between 2002 and 2005. They finished in eighth and sixth in their first two seasons in the Conference South before he moved to take the manager’s job at Sutton United.
In his first two seasons with Sutton United he took them to the Isthmian League play-offs where they lost in the semi-finals both times, before winning the league with the club in the 2011-2012 season. He also won the Conference South title with the club in 2015-16 after the U’s had twice missed out in the play-offs in the previous four seasons.
Sutton finished last season in twelfth place in the National League. More impressively, they reached the 5th Round of the FA Cup before eventually losing at home to Arsenal.
The U’s have begun 2017-18 strongly and have been among the early pacesetters throughout the first three months, leading the division on two separate occasions already, a feat that has also been accomplished by their Hampshire hosts.
Doswell moved quickly to secure his key targets in the summer which included the signing of three players from National League rivals Dover Athletic. Aswad Thomas, Moses Emmanuel and ex-Shots loanee Ross Lafayette all made the move from Kent to Surrey. Doswell also secured the services of vastly experienced central midfielders Kenny Davis (Boreham Wood) and Simon Walton (Guiseley) who boast more than 500 football league appearances between them. Another ex-Shots loanee, winger Keiron Cadogan has already netted four times this season, just one less than top scorer Tommy Wright. Sutton will be without key midfielder Craig Eastmond on Tuesday after he suffered a suspected broken ankle at Hartlepool on Saturday.
Tuesday evening sees the fourteenth meeting between these two sides, with The Shots winning six, losing four and drawing three.
Last season, Gary Waddock’s men went down 2-0 at Gander Green Lane, with ex-Shot Jamie Collins scoring both goals after Jake Gallagher was sent off just before half time. In the return match at the EBB Stadium in March, The Shots reversed that result, thanks to an own goal by Will Puddy and a stoppage-time second from Bernard Mensah.
Eight of the previous thirteen games between the sides took place in the Ryman League Premier Division between 1998 and 2003. Winger Rhys Browne scored the only goal of the game as Town beat United in the Fourth Qualifying Round of the FA Cup in October 2015. The Shots managed a four-point haul against The U’s in their 2002-03 promotion-winning season. Roscoe D’Sane scored twice in the 3-2 home win on Boxing Day 2002, whilst he also netted in the 1-1 draw at Gander Green Lane on 21 March 2003 that secured the Shots’ promotion to the non-league top flight for the first time.
Aldershot Town failed to win any of their four Ryman League Premier Division games at Gander Green Lane, with the home side’s biggest win coming courtesy of a 5-0 victory in April 1999. The Shots drew 1-1 in April 2001 thanks to a goal from Lee Protheroe, whilst they also succumbed to a 2-0 loss in October of that year. There were also two First Round FA Cup games between Aldershot FC and Sutton United. The Shots won 4-0 in November 1963, whilst the Us caused the upset with a 3-0 home victory 24 years later.
Tuesday evening’s referee is Alan Young, who has taken charge of eight National League matches so far this season, showing 32 yellow cards and one red card to date. He has already refereed Aldershot Town twice this season: the 3-2 home victory against Torquay United and the 0-2 defeat at the EBB Stadium versus Dover Athletic.
BBC Surrey’s Rob Worrall and injured Shots winger Bobby-Joe Taylor will be covering the game live on Tuesday evening. Tune in to the BBC Sport website or the BBC Sport App from 7:35pm 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 @bobbyjoetaylor.