Marcus Braddock previews the
The Emirates FA Cup is here again with Aldershot visiting this weekend, which gives proceedings a distinctly retro feel for those of us who remember the late 1970's. For those of you who don't remember that far back, one of our most historic years, 1979, included an Emirates FA Cup tie with Aldershot, albeit at a slightly later stage of the competition. I don’t remember the game, I was small and only just aware of Shrewsbury Town after they beat top flight Manchester City, I didn't make it to the Gay Meadow until the following season.
They say form goes out of the window in the cup but without it I wouldn't have much of a preview so I'll plough on. This season has seen Aldershot position themselves well, just behind the play-off spots with plenty of time to make a good attempt at promotion. They're the highest scoring team in the National League with 29 goals from their 18 games. Their away form is pretty even with three wins, three draws and three defeats with their most recent away win taking place against Gateshead in mid September.
Aldershot's 29 goals this season have come from 13 different squad members which suggests that we're going to need to keep a close eye on everyone. Shamir Fenelon and Matt McClure are joint top goalscorers with four goals each. Fenelon is a 23-year-old forward who's scored goals for Crawley, Torquay and Tranmere whilst on loan from his first club Brighton. McClure has been with the Shots since the summer of 2015. The ex-Wycombe trainee has also spent time with Dagenham and Hays and Yeading.
A third of Aldershot's games this season have been clean sheets with their last clean sheet occurring on October 14th when they beat Torquay at home in the fourth qualifying round of this competition.
In away games, Aldershot has scored three times in the first half and eight times in the second half. They've conceded six times in the first half of away games and five times in the second half. Their most successful period of away games is the final fifteen minutes of the game with four goals scored over nine games.
Referee - Ross Joyce from Cleveland. Games this season: 15.Yellow card average: 4.2. Red cards: 1.
Assistants: Louis Marks and Oliver Bickle.
Fourth Official: Craig Taylor.
No new injury concerns for either side.
I do love the Emirates FA Cup as it's brought us some good times in the past but at this level of the competition and after our season so far, we are one of the teams to beat and not the minnow that we have been in the past. This could mean a nervy afternoon for Shrewsbury fans as Gary Waddock's young team try and put themselves in the EFL shop window. However, if we play as well as we have done this season, Aldershot will find it difficult and we should progress to the next round. Much will depend upon which team takes the initiative on the day, if we can get hold of the ball we all know what we can do but Aldershot will be looking to aggravate and generally upset our game from the off and we need to be well prepared for that.