Aldershot Town v Braintree Match Preview – Saturday 3rd November 2018
Despite leading for most of the match thanks to Adam McDonnell’s first half strike, Aldershot Town ultimately had to settle for a point against Borehamwood, with David Stephens poking home a 90th minute equaliser. On Saturday, The Shots are at The EBB Stadium again, to host a resurgent Braintree Town side, that have won back to back games this week. BBC Surrey’s Rob Worrall previews the action.
Jacob Berkeley-Agyapong, skipper Karleigh Osborne and James Rowe were all unavailable to manager Gary Waddock on Tuesday evening and it’s unlikely any of them will be involved on Saturday. Dan Holman was released from his contract by mutual consent in the week.
Name: Braintree Town FC
Nickname: The Iron
Manager: Hakan Hayrettin
Stadium: Cressing Road
2017/18 Final National League South position: 6th & Play-Off Winners
Current National League position: 23rd
Braintree won promotion the hard way from National League South last season. Having suffered relegation in 2016/17, The Iron fixed their sights on an instant return to the fifth tier but had to go through a gruelling play-off campaign to achieve their goal. They almost didn’t make it to the top seven either; a one-point deduction for inadvertently fielding an ineligible player left them three points outside the play-off zone with just four games to play. However, ten points from twelve saw them finish sixth and they saw off Hemel Hempstead on penalties, won 1-0 at Dartford and overcame Hampton & Richmond in the Play-Off Final shootout to seal promotion.
Hakan Hayrettin is currently in his second stint as Braintree Town boss after overseeing Braintree’s 16/17 National League campaign where they were narrowly relegated on the final day of the season at the EBB Stadium to Aldershot. He left the club following the relegation to the National League South but rejoined only three weeks ago on an interim basis after Brad Quinton’s departure from the Iron.
Whilst initially, former Iron Boss Brad Quinton kept faith in last season’s play-off winners, he – rather astutely – held off from offering contracts to most, to see if they could prove themselves at National League level – and many have now departed, following the club’s poor start to the campaign. The key loss was perhaps club captain Marc Anthony-Okoye, who signed for Bromley.
Twelve players stayed initially, including Striker Reece Grant, who has already hit the net six times this season, including a double in Tuesday night’s 4-2 victory at Bromley. Undoubtedly the club’s key signing has been Mo Bettamer, who joined from Hampton & Richmond Borough and has also netted six goals to date.
Saturday’s referee is currently unknown at the time of publication.
There will be live BBC Surrey Sport coverage of the game on Saturday afternoon with Rob Worrall and a special guest. Tune in to the BBC Sport website (or the BBC Sport App) from 2:50pm for full match commentary. To interact with the commentary team, tweet @RobShot66.