Aldershot Town vs Maidenhead United: Vanarama National League, Saturday 2nd November 2019, 3.00PM kick-off.
Maidenhead will hope to secure a third consecutive away win with an away trip to the Recreation Ground this afternoon.
A sensational Josh Kelly overhead kick earned the Magpies a home draw against Fylde in midweek, and although they conceded a late equaliser they are now back in contention.
The Shots though will look to get back on track after failing to win any of their last four matches in all competitions.
The Magpies have recorded two wins from their last three league games, and secured an exciting FA Cup tie against Rotherham.
Josh Kelly’s brace dispatched Wealdstone in a replay to set up next weekend’s tie against the League One side, after an away win at Ebbsfleet had ended their long winless run of eight matches.
Remy Clerima’s late winner against Solihull Moors last weekend was then enough to make it two wins from two in the Vanarama National League, but the Magpies couldn’t extend their run of successive wins in midweek.
The home side sprang into life just minutes into the second-half against Fylde, as Josh Kelly scored one of the goals of the season with his third of the campaign. Josh Smile’s delivery from the right found the striker, and he did well to control it on his chest with his back to goal. He then flicked the ball up for himself before rifling the ball home with an overhead kick into the top left corner. The moment of individual brilliance wouldn’t be enough for the Magpies though as Fylde clinched a point later in the half. Neill Byrne’s header ensured that the points would be shared at York Road.
Looking ahead, and Maidenhead will hope that their upturn in fortunes will continue as they face the side 20th in the National league table.
Following Aldershot’s relegation from League Two in 2013, they faced administration and other issues in the following few years.
After spending the next three seasons surviving in the fifth tier, the club put together successive promotion challenges in both the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. They fell short on both occasions though, firstly in the play-off semi-final against Tranmere, and then against Ebbsfleet in the play-offs a year later as history repeated itself.
They couldn’t challenge at all in 2018-19 though, and should have been relegated after finishing 21st. The Shots were spared the drop though as Gateshead took their place instead after they were administratively relegated.
But, this season hasn’t been much better for them and they’ve only recorded two wins from their last eight in the league.
Aldershot did end a run of two league defeats on the bounce with the midweek draw at Boreham Wood, and their previous 4-0 win over Dover proved that the Shots can get themselves away from trouble.
The club may be in 20th place but a revival could shoot them back up the table again, and the Magpies know that a home win would take the Shots back to within three points of them.
Last time out
The two sides faced off twice in only a week with two completely contrasting fixtures over last season’s Christmas period.
In a Boxing Day cracker at York Road, a late Aldershot penalty wasn’t enough for the visitors and they eventually lost 4-3. The Shots opened the scoring in the 24th minute, with Reece Grant getting on the scoresheet. But, the Magpies equalised four minutes later through Adrian Clifton’s header. The Magpies were ruthless at the start of the second half, and netted three times in 11 minutes. Josh Kelly, Harold Odametey and Alfie Kilgour were all on target. The Shots did get two goals back through Grant and an Adam McDonnell penalty just before injury time, but the Magpies held on.
The second game couldn’t have been more different. Both sides began 2019 on New Year’s Day with a point after a goalless draw.
Aldershot will hope that they can begin to turn their form around, and a home win here could take them above 18th placed Chesterfield.
Maidenhead on the other hand will target a third away win on the bounce in all competitions at the Recreation Ground, and that could take them as high as eighth in the National League table.