Gary Mills will be keen to maintain our good run of form tomorrow against Aldershot, an opponent we’ve tended to have the upper hand against in recent clashes.
Since we reacquainted ourselves with The Shots in The Conference following their demise and return to the Football League we’ve had by far the better of things.
Admittedly, things started badly as a trip to Aldershot in September 2013 saw us put in a poor performance and suffer a deserved 2-0 defeat.
Since then we’ve played them four times and remained unbeaten. enjoying three home wins In the process. The most recent was earlier this season when Wes York, James Gray and Dom Vose earned us a comfortable 3-0 win.
We emerged for this fixture with a point at the end of last season. We headed to Hampshire under caretaker manager Carl Darlington and took the lead through what turned out to be Louis Moult’s last goal for us, but conceded shortly before the break to surrender our hopes of victory.
That result was a pleasing outcome when you consider what usually happens when we travel to The Recreation Ground. Our record at Aldershot isn’t great, and victories are few and far between. In nineteen games there we’ve won three, drawn four and lost twelve. Furthermore, last season’s draw ended a run of six away defeats to The Shots, stretching back to 1983.
For our last win at The Recreation Ground you have to go all the way back to April 1976, when Mel Sutton, Brian Tinnion and Graham Whittle scored in a 3-2 win. Funnily enough, we also won at Aldershot the previous season, when late goals by Mickey Thomas and Dave Smallman earned a 2-1 win. The only other win we’ve ever enjoyed at Aldershot was in September 1969, when Albert Kinsey and Arfon Griffiths clinched a 2-0 win, the latter scoring from the penalty spot.
Smallman is our top scorer against The Shots, with four goals to his name, one ahead of Martyn King, Sammy McMillan, Ray Smith and Arfon Griffiths. Smallman, King and McMillan also have the three hat tricks we’ve managed against The Shots to their credit. Coincidentally, each was achieved in a 4-0 home win.
In contrast, we’ve suffered some bad beatings at Aldershot. Our worst result at Aldershot came in October 1985 when we crashed to a 6-0 defeat, but we also conceded five goals there in both 1964 and 1973.
Our home record is the exact opposite of our away record against Aldershot. In fact, we’ve never lost against them at The Racecourse in twenty matches, winning sixteen. Overall, we’re six wins ahead of Aldershot in the fixture.
We’ll be looking for our fourth consecutive league win tomorrow as our topsy-turvy season continues. We put together a run of five wins in a row at the start of the campaign, but then managed just two wins in eleven matches before the current run.
Wes York makes his one hundred and fiftieth career league appearance tomorrow.