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Tommy Wright: Debut
Tommy Wright: Debut

Aldershot v Grimsby Preview

By: Sam Kinnaird
Date: 29/01/2010

GRIMSBY make one of the longest journeys in their season to Hampshire to play Aldershot, flying high in League Two and currently nestled in the play-off fringes. Town are likely to have more than one player making their debut, pushing the number of players used this season over the forty mark.

Home > 2009-2010 Season > Previews > Aldershot (a)

Who are they?

Their History

Aldershot Town rose from the ashes of the liquidated Aldershot FC in 1992 who were the first team to fold since Accrington 30 years earlier. They were forced to re-build from the depths of the Isthmian League and under the guidance of former player Steve Wignall they won the league championship by 18 points. A successive promotion followed, and Aldershot narrowly missed out on a third in as many years on mere goal difference. However two promotions in the following two years catapulted the club into the Conference in 2003, and they were in sight of the Football League. The new Conference season began 2-1 win at home to Accrington Stanley, and the Shots went on to the play-offs having occupied a place in them throughout the campaign. The semi-final pitted them against Hereford, who were touted as massive favourites for the encounter. A nervy two-legged affair saw the tie poised at 1-1 and it was Aldershot who came out on top winning 4-2 on penalties. Shrewsbury Town awaited them in the final at the Britannia Stadium, the home of Stoke City. Another tight game ensued and another 1-1 draw would again mean Aldershot’s fate would be decided on penalties, but this time their luck deserted them and they were defeated 3-0 on spot kicks. The 2004/5 campaign finally saw the club return to full-time professional status, they reached the FA Cup Second Round losing out to Hartlepool United and again reached the play-offs. once more luck failed them when it came to penalties and they were beaten by eventual winners Carlisle United. The Shots fared no better in the 2005-6 season, when a poor run left Aldershot in 9th and a massive 13 points away from the final play-off place, it cost manager Terry Brown his job and he left the club in early 2006. In May 2007 Gary Waddock took the helm at the Recreation Ground and under his watchful eye the club amassed a huge 101 points over the course of the following season, romping to the league title and ending withan 18 game unbeaten streak. Waddock had earned himself hero status at the club having finally led them back to the Football League and leading the club to victory in the final of the Conference League Cup. Last season saw Aldershot start the season the way they had finished the last, but eventually they tailed off and finished the season in a respectable 15th place.

This Season.

The Shots began the season with three wins out of five in the league including a 2-1 win at Blundell Park, a game marred by late red cards to Adam Proudlock and Barry Conlon. Successive wins over Crewe and Cheltenham saw the club end September in style, a spell of inconsistency then followed with wins over Morecambe and Northampton come at the same time as losses to Shrewsbury and Lincoln. Aldershot managed to reach the Second Round of the FA Cup, a first round win over Bury meant they would meet League One Tranmere in the Second Round. It took Tranmere two legs to finally beat the Shots, who narrowly missed out on a money spinning home tie against Premier Division side Wolves. Aldershot manager Gary Waddock left the club for the heady heights of League One Wycombe in October as successor to Peter Taylor, and he was replaced by ex-Reading coach Kevin Dillon on a permanent basis after a temporary spell in charge by Jason Dodd. Dillon’s first game was a dire 0-0 draw against Macclesfield in November, he saw his new side go unbeaten in five before a heavy 6-1 defeat at Burton in mid-December. Aldershot bounced back with a 4-0 home win over Barnet before a draw against Rochdale, a win over Bournemouth and a loss at Accrington. Dillon’s side find themselves in 7th position in League Two with 40 points, 16 places and 21 points above the Mariners and only five points off the final automatic promotion spot.

Former Players.

Former striker Mark Butler scored 155 goals for Aldershot during a six year stint between 1992 and 1998, he leads the clubs goalscoring record chart ahead of Gary Abbott who scored 120. Keeper Nikki Bull played over 300 games for the Hampshire outfit before moving to Brentford in the summer, he was once named Aldershot’s Player of the Year as well as Conference Footballer of the Year in their promotion season. Young forward Joel Grant is Aldershot’s record transfer sale, he was sold to Crewe in June 2008 for £130,000 after playing less than 50 games for the club. Other famous ex-players include Marcus Gayle, Aaron Mclean and Paul Kitson.

Key Man.

Scott Donnelly. London born Scott Donnelly signed for Aldershot in July 2007 from non-league Wealdstone after a successful trial; he had begun his career with QPR. The midfielder has played 52 games for the Shots in his 2 and a half year spell with the club, scoring ten goals. He is currently Aldershot’s top scorer in the league with eight goals to his name so far this campaign. 22 year old Donnelly has one England under-17 cap to his name, and scored the goal that took Aldershot to the Football League when he scored the equaliser against Exeter, a goal that will live long in the memory of Shots fans. He went on to score a stunning free kick which was the club’s first goal on their return to the Football League.

That was the game that was

Grimsby 1-0 Aldershot - 28 March 2009

A late penalty from Grimsby frontman Barry Conlon secured a vital three points for the Mariners in their quest to retain their League status. A tense match swung this way and that with Wayne Henderson making some fine saves for the home side. The introduction of Adam Proudlock with 15 minutes to go proved the catalyst as he earned a late penalty for Town which Conlon coolly chipped home to earn his side three points.

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Currently 23rd in League Two.
Currently 7th in League Two.

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Team News


  • New signings Tommy Wright, Dean Sinclair and Paris Cowan-Hall are expected to feature.

  • Just Adrian Forbes (leg) and Robbie Stockdale (hernia) on the treatment table.
  • Scott Donnelly and Louie Soares were left out of the side in midweek but should return.

  • John Grant returns from injury, but John Halls is still not fit.
  • Squads

    1GKNick Colgan
    2DFRobbie Stockdale
    3DFJoe Widdowson
    5DFMatthew Heywood
    6MFPeter Sweeney
    7MFAdrian Forbes
    8FWNathan Jar man
    9FWAdam Proudlock
    10FWBarry Conlon
    11MFDanny Boshell
    12DFJamie Clarke
    13MFNick Hegarty
    14MFPeter Bore
    15DFMatthew Bird
    16DFPaul Linwood
    17MFGrant Normington
    18FWChris Jones
    19MFMichael Leary
    20MFJammal Shahin
    21FWMichael Coulson (on loan from Barnsley)
    23MFOliver Lancashire
    24DFDamien McCrory (on loan from Plymouth Argyle)
    25DFRob Atkinson
    26FWJean-Louis Akpa Akpro
    27FWDanny North
    28FWJosh Fuller
    29FWBradley Wood
    31MFNicky Featherstone (on loan from Hull City)
    32MFMark Hudson
    33FWAshley Chambers (on loan from Leicester City)
    34FWParis Cowan-Hall (on loan from Portsmouth)
    35GKLeigh Overton
    TBAMFDean Sinclair (on loan from Charlton)
    TBAFWTommy Wright
    1 GK Clark Masters
    2 DF Ben Herd
    3 DF Anthony Straker
    4 DF Chris Blackburn
    6 DF Anthony Charles
    7 MF Louie Soares
    8 MF Lewis Chalmers
    9 FW John Grant
    10 FW Marvin Morgan
    11 MF John Halls (Vice-captain)
    12 DF Dean Howell
    14 FW Danny Hylton
    15 MF Scott Donnelly
    17 MF Kirk Hudson
    18 DF Dave Winfield
    19 MF Ben Harding
    20 MF Bobby Hopkinson (dual registered with Farnborough)
    21 MF Oliver Bozanic (on loan from Reading)
    26 FW Marlon Jackson (on loan from Bristol City)
    28 MF Andy Sandell
    31 FW Reece Connolly
    33 GK Mikhael Jaimez-Ruiz

    Head to Head

    The two sides have faced each other a total of 25 times in League Football, with the first match coming way back in the 1968-69 season. Town have won only seven of their games against Aldershot, with the Shots winning nine and there have been nine draws. Grimsby have only won two of the last ten meetings but have lost just one of the last six, which came at Blundell Park in August. Town failed to win any of the first eight league meetings against Aldershot, but then won six out of eight between 1973 and 1978.

    P25 W7 D9 L9 F 30 A 34

    Head-to-Head (62nd The Opposition Ladder)

    Last Meeting

    Grimsby 1 Aldershot 2 (Sat 29th Aug 2009)

    Town once again failed to get anything from a game, in which Mike Newell had put Ryan Bennett in midfield.



    The Fishy Prediction

    Town are desperate for a win, and may be revitalised with this week’s new signings. A debut goal for Tommy Wright would do nicely.

    Aldershot 0-1 Grimsby

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