Shots v Bedford – FA Trophy Match Preview

Aldershot Town v Bedford Town FA Trophy Match Preview – Saturday 15th December 2018

Aldershot Town’s depleted squad take a break from National League action on Saturday, when they host Southern League Central, Division One outfit Bedford Town at The EBB Stadium, in the FA Trophy First Round.

Shots Squad:
Manager Gary Waddock, already without several key players due to injury, this week saw Reading loanee Josh Barrett return to his parent club. Two more players picked up injuries in the 4-1 defeat at Harrogate Town last weekend; joint top scorer Adam McDonnell and defender Marvin McCoy. They have now joined Scott Rendell, James Rowe, Luke Howell, Jake Cole, Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong and George Fowler on the side-lines, whilst Shamir Fenelon is expected to return to the playing squad. Matt McClure (shoulder) and Kareligh Osborne (short of match fitness having only just returned from a 10-week injury absence) may once again be called upon to make up the numbers.

Name: Bedford Town
Founded: 1908
Nickname: Eagles
Manager: Jon Taylor
Stadium: The Eyrie
Current Southern League Division One Central League position: 6th

Formed in 1908, Bedford Town competed in the Northamptonshire League in their early years before joining the Southern League in 1945. They enjoyed some success in the FA Cup, most notably in 1955-56, when they beat Football League opposition in Leyton & Watford, before landing a plumb tie against Arsenal, in which they managed a 2-2 draw, before going out in the 3rd Round replay. They applied to join the Football League on no less than 18 occasions (the second most of any football club) but were never able to secure the necessary votes required. In the 1960’s, they reached the 4th Round of the FA Cup twice and achieved their all-time record attendance of 18,407 at home to Everton. Bedford Town re-formed in 1989 and in 1991, joined Division One of the South Midlands League. They soon won that league and followed it up by winning the Premier League the very next season. They then took their place in the Isthmian Third Division and quickly worked their way up to the Isthmian Premier. In 2003-04 they lost a play-off final (5-4 to St Albans) that would have seen them reach the newly formed Conference South. Two seasons later they took their place in that division, through the play-offs, only to finish bottom in their first season and suffer relegation to the Southern League. A further relegation in 2013-14 saw them drop another level, to where they are now.

The Gaffer:
47-year-old Jon Taylor took the vacant Eagles manager’s job in September 2015 after the sudden departure of previous Eagles manager, Dan Kennoy. Jon has a wealth of experience across non-league having managed at Arlesey Town, St Neots Town and Hereford United.

Perhaps the most famous name in the Bedford Town squad is that of 38-year-old former Charlton Athletic striker Paul Benson, who scored 8 goals in 13 appearances for The Eagles last season and has already matched that total this season. Bedford’s top scorer though, is a very familiar name to Shots fans. Dan Walker, has netted 9 times in his 18 appearances this term. Earlier this week, Eagles boss Jon Taylor brought in two new faces; Alex Cathline, a 6’ 3” striker from Beaconsfield Town and Joe Steele, a commanding Centre Back, from Arlesey Town.

Saturday’s referee is unknown at the time of publication.

There will be live BBC Surrey Sport commentary of Saturday’s game, with Rob Worrall and a special guest, from 2:50pm. To interact with the commentary team, tweet @RobShot66.