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Question of the Week
How long before new manager arrives?
|Come on Town!|
Aldershot v Grimsby Preview
By: Alex Green
WITH less then a week to go before Christmas the Merry Mariners travel to Aldershot because the fixture list tells them too for what could be back to back wins, remember them?
Aldershot sit 10th in the league just 5 points off 2nd spot and with a game in hand on many above them. The Shots have taken well to life in the Football League. Aldershot are on a 6 league match unbeaten run including wins against Lincoln, Exeter and impressively against leaders Wycombe which was their first defeat of the season. So Town have it all to do when they travel south of the capital for what could be their first back-to-back wins since the start of February. With a few days to go before the almighty clash against Aldershot, it puts the World Club Cup in to perspective doesn't it? The Fishy took time out from their Christmas shopping to talk to Shot fans Steve and Rob about their return to the Football League and all things Shot.
R: Is quite a rollercoaster ride! The old club was Formed in 1926 and spent much of its time in the old 3rd Division South or 4th Division. Shots became the first league side ever promoted by the new play-off system in the 1980's, after beating Wolves home and away over two legs. But after a short time in Div 3 as it was, found them back in Div 4 and walking a financial tightrope from which it finally fell in 1990. But whilst the old club died, its spirit lived on and just a few months later Aldershot Town Football Club was formed, using the same Recreation Ground Stadium, same club colours and, most importantly retaining the same loyal fans! The new club began in Isthmian Division 3 playing regularly in front of crowds of 2,000+ and 4 promotions in the next 11 years saw Shots playing Conference football. Shots reached the play-offs in their first two Conference seasons and were penalty kicks away from the return to the football league, which finally happened last season, as they were promoted as Champions with a record 101 points.
S: From 1992, a journey of five promotions back, to the Football League. After Aldershot FC went bust, a small group of local businessmen and supporters formed the new Club and were accepted into Ryman League Division Three. It's been a long way back, but a time of great memories, and the entire Club are better for the experience.
S: A thrilling rollercoaster ride, and the culmination of 16-years of hard work. Most people expected Gary Waddock's first season as manager to be one of consolidation but we ended up winning the Blue Square Premier by a mile, with over 100 points and by playing quality football.
R: The completion of the fairytale, simply magnificent, from start to finish. Free flowing, attacking football, letting in lots, but scoring more. Conference Cup winners to boot - and wonderful, wonderful celebrations when the title was finally won at Exeter, sparking joyous scenes that will stay with me forever, including the management and playing staff climbing in to the crowd to sing, dance and celebrate together - something that you would see at very few other football clubs.
S: One huge, exciting adventure. Particularly at home, League Two holds no fear for us, and Wycombe, Bradford and Darlington have all been beaten at The Rec. After an alarming blip during October, we're back up into the Top Ten and handily placed to compete for a Play-Off spot. A second consecutive promotion may be a step too far, but at the moment everyone is just enjoying the ride.
R: One long party for us! 4,000+ crowds at The Rec (ooops, EBB Stadium) and an amazing atmosphere at every away game. The playing squad is more than good enough to compete at this level and barring an injury crisis or some of our better young players being snapped up in January, should be in or around the play-off places come April/May time.
R: Shots keeper Nikki Bull. A true legend -has been player of the season on three of his six seasons with Shots, is our longest serving player. He was sold the dream by Terry Brown and was the only player to stay throughout and see it come true. He's Shots until he dies!
S: Goalkeeper Nikki Bull, one of the best at this level and has just played his 300th game for the Club. In 6 years here, he has been one of the biggest influences in Aldershot's rise up the non-League pyramid. He almost left in the summer but, despite regular interest from other Clubs, he has signed a new 2-year deal and is well on his way to becoming the first Shots player to reach 400 appearances.
R: Old, three sided, old and full of character. Built in a public park, it is fast approaching its sell by date, but is more and more appealing in this day of soulless new stadiums. The old curved tin roof over the Eastbank end provides wonderful acoustics and helps create what is usually a noisy and colourful atmosphere.
S: Old but looking good for its age, and full of passion and character. The away end is in one corner of the East Bank, an imposing, barrel-roofed terrace which also houses the largest and most vocal contingent of the home support - it creates quite an atmosphere. It is situated inside a public park and surrounded by trees, so if the game is boring you at least have some nice autumnal colours to look at!
S: The spirit that has brought the Club back to the Football League. Many dared to dream, but few genuinely believed it would happen quite so soon, and it is the commitment of people right through the Club that has achieved so much.
R: Our manager, the Godfather, Ginger Mourinho, aka Gary Waddock. He's all ours, hands off - he's staying...for now anyway!
R: Red and Blue of course! Forever! Actually, more seriously, the future is dependent on how well our club is run off the pitch. Lessons have been learned from the demise of the old club, but despite improving slowly, we are still quite a way off being a truly professional club.
S: Exciting. The Club is back in the same Division as when they went bust in 1992, but whereas back then the Club was going backwards, now it is looking up. This is a positive Club with a bright future and an excellent manager. There is rarely a dull moment at Aldershot.
R: Is probably Teddy Sheringham, who wore it briefly on loan, in the late 80's. But many famous players wore the red and blue of Aldershot during the War years.
S: Since '92, former Wimbledon and Rangers striker, and Jamaican international, Marcus Gayle. Pre-92, especially given what has happened in the interim, it's probably Steve Claridge. Unless you count the likes of Tommy Lawton during World War Two.
S: Scott Davies. A dynamic young midfielder on a season-long loan from Reading, he played a huge part in last year's success and has now made the step-up to League Two with ease. One minute he's making a strong tackle on the edge of his own penalty area, the next he's bursting forward to hit one of his trademark long-range drives.
R: Scott Davies, a young lad in his second full season loan from Reading. Scotty is an enigma, capable of the unbelievably brilliant and the shockingly poor at the same time. He is still learning his trade, but always capable of providing a match winning moment, which he has done on countless occasions for us.
Head to Head
Town have only won once at the Recreation Ground, in the 1975-1976 season.
P 22 W 6 D 8 L 8 F 26 A 30
Aldershot 0 Grimsby 0 (Sat 24th Feb 1990)
A 0-0 draw in the basement division when it was called League Division Four.
Thank you to Steve Gibbs and Rob for their contribution.
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