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Match Previews

PREVIEW | Aldershot Town v Wrexham

It's time to test ourselves at in-form Aldershot!

17 February 2023

Match Previews

PREVIEW | Aldershot Town v Wrexham

It's time to test ourselves at in-form Aldershot!

17 February 2023

Having come through a bruising encounter on Tuesday, Wrexham will want to return to winning ways at Aldershot.

Injuries have begun to accumulate, but at least Harry Lennon and Andy Cannon were able to get valuable minutes under their belts against Woking.

Aldershot earned a point at home to Chesterfield in midweek, and it could have been 3 but Spireites new signing Paul McCallum got his first goal for them to earn a draw.

Shots manager Ross McNeilly was satisfied with the result: “Without sounding negative we would probably have taken a point before the game.”

“We are not massively disappointed but there is a sense of disappointment in the sense that we want to win.

“They are a really good side, they have created some chances. Dobra - how good is he? They brought Colclough on, McCallum’s on and Quigley comes on for him. They are such a good team. The reality is they outspend us. Their gaffer has done really well in how they play so it is difficult and a lot of teams are going to struggle against them.”

“Certainly first-half, I thought it was really toe-to-toe and a really competitive game.

“To come out in the second-half and concede straight away, to switch-off in that little moment, was disappointing. But we dug in, did not concede another, and maybe could have nicked one at the other end.”

McNeilly's main concern this season has been his side's home form. The Shots have lost 9 of their 17 league matches at Te Recreation Ground, and have picked up more points on their travels.

Wrexham's visit marks the end of a sequence of 6 consecutive home matches, and The Shots have improved those stats, especially considered that they lost their last 3 home games before the sequence began.

That draw against Chesterfield was preceded by back-toback wins over Dorking, which not only earned 3 points but also secured a spot in the last 8 of the FA Trophy.

McNeilly recognises the importance of improving results at the Recreation Ground:

“We have to turn our home form, our form in the time I’ve been at the club isn’t good enough.”

“At home we have a lot more of the ball, so we need to make sure when we keep the ball that we need to dominate games and we’re not open for transitions and being caught on the counter.”

“We’ve always been confident, we’re performing pretty well.”

-Ross McNeilly, Aldershot manager

“Even when we weren’t winning games, I thought we were playing well and got unlucky in some cases.”

“We’re finally getting the results which obviously is the most important thing.”

McNeilly replenished his squad in January to ensure they were prepared for the challenges of the second half of the season:

“I wanted to bring in some players who could fit in with our philosophy.”

“I thought we lacked centrally in midfield, and that’s not saying we weren’t good enough I just thought we lacked bodies.”

“There’s some real energy about the side and some real positivity about how we can play with a young side.”

McNeilly has also been pleased with the efforts of target man Inih Effiong, who has already got 14 league goals under his belt this season:  “He’s worked really hard on getting into the right positions and hopefully it proves more dividends.”

EARLIER THIS SEASON

19/11/2022 Wrexham 2 (Mullin 28, Jones 38) Aldershot Town 0

Wrexham: M Howard, C McFadzean, B Tozer, B Hosanah (L McAlinden, 46), A Hayden, J Tunnicliffe, E Lee, L Young, J Jones (T O'Connor, 78), P Mullin (S Dalby, 87), O Palmer
Subs not used: R Lainton, J Davies                           

Aldershot: L Ashby-Hammond, G Phillips, Ollie Harfield, T Cordner, A Davies, T Willard (O Alfa, 56), J Partington (M Klass, 59), R Glover (A MacAllister, 82), F Vincent, J Amaluzor, I Effiong
Subs not used: B Shroll, C Jordan

Referee: Andrew Miller

Attendance: 10.071

HEAD TO HEAD

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Wrexham’s recent record against Aldershot Town is excellent, as we’re on a run of 3 consecutive wins. And that’s not counting the match last season which we were leading 2-0 when a water-logged pitch halted play!

When that match was replayed, we made amends with a spectacular display. Aaron Hayden, Harry Lennon, Reece Hall-Johnson, Jordan Ponticelli and Jordan Davies all scored in 28-minute burst either side of half time to secure a 5-0 victory, our biggest in Aldershot.

That halted a run of 5 games at The Recreation Ground which yielded just one point. Nine months earlier we suffered a 3-0 defeat which was our worst result there since a 6-0 battering in 1985.

The previous season we suffered a galling loss, conceding the only goal of the game in the 4th minute of added time. The preceding clash in December 2018 was frustrating in a different way: we dominated the match but there were no goals, with Bobby Grant missing a couple of good chances.

A demoralising 2-0 defeat in 2017 saw Aldershot’s excellent attacking movement out-manoeuvring Dean Keates’ famously sold defensive unit, while the season before the result was the same but the circumstances were different as Gary Mills’  rather poor side were overrun and ought to have lost by a far heavier margin.

We did better in November 2015, when Wes York scored the only goal, while 7 months earlier Louis Moult gave us an early lead as we drew 1-1.

The only other time we’ve visited Aldershot in the National League was in September 2013, and it resulted in a rather tame 2-0 defeat.

Despite that string of disappointing defeats, our record at Aldershot in the National League is considerably better than it was in the Football League. Our two wins and five losses at this level are in contrast to the 3 victories and 11 defeats before we dropped out of the top four divisions.

We didn’t enjoy a win there in our first 7 visits, drawing just 2, and first won in 1969, thanks to goals from Ray Smith and Arfon Griffiths. Normal service was resumed the next time we played there, four years later, as we lost 5-1, but the following season Mickey Thomas and Dave Smallman struck in a 2-1 win.

The following season we won again, as Mel Sutton, Brian Tinnion and Graham Whittle scored in a 3-2 win.

Smallman is our top scorer in this fixture with 4 goals, including a hat trick in a 4-0 home win in 1975. Sammy McMillan and Martyn King have also scored three against The Shots, and both of them, coincidentally, were in 4-0 victories at The Racecourse.

POTENTIAL MILESTONES

imageuau96.pngAnthony Forde's 300th league match.

Anthony Forde's 375th career game. 

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Paul Mullin's 325th league appearance.

Phil Parkinson’s 75th league match as Wrexham manager.


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