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Preview: Aldershot Town v Wycombe Wanderers


Wycombe Wanderers increasingly miserable season hit another low at the weekend as they were knocked out of the F.A. Cup after losing 4-1 to League One Crewe Alexandra in a first round tie at Gresty Road.

The Chairboys were cruelly given hope when midfielder Matt Spring's speculative effort from 30-yards flew through home goalkeeper Alan Martin to give the visitors a surprise lead with less than a quarter of an hour on the clock. It lasted all of six minutes however and the hosts were leading themselves by the break. It didn't help that defenders Anthony Stewart and Gary Doherty had to be substituted in the first half after both suffered what appeared to be muscle injuries. That saw teenage defender Kortney Hause handed his debut for the club. The Railwaymen added two more after the break as the contest really did become men against boys.

The Blues injury woes had already begun even before kick off with midfielder Stuart Lewis and striker Matt McClure both ruled out with hamstring injuries. Worse still was the revelation that goalkeeper Nikki Bull had expressed his desire to no longer play for the club in the build-up to the game. He was left out of the squad and with his reputation now in tatters it seems he has played his last game for Wycombe Wanderers. Goalkeeper Jordan Archer, re-signed on a two month loan from Spurs, proved to be more than an able deputy with a number of fine saves, including one from Harry Davis' penalty.

Such a crippling injury-list would test even the most experienced manager, never mind one who has been in caretaker charge for just nine matches (and twenty in his embryonic managerial career in total). The primary focus for the club at the moment must be on fielding a team capable of picking up points in League Two as we seek to protect our Football League table. This is easier said than done with the lack of finance available to bring in players, even on loan, as well as aid those currently injured back onto the road to recovery. One thing's for sure, the new permanent manager will be handed something of a poisoned chalice.

The Shots went into the current campaign with a sense of hope and optimism under manager Dean Holdsworth who appeared to have got a handle on things at the Recreation Ground last season. That has all but evaporated now after enduring a disappointing start to the season which currently sees them sitting below the Wanderers in the League Two table, level on 12 points but with an inferior goal difference of three. They had lost six on the bounce before a run of three games without defeat has seen them halt their downward spiral.

The two sides have only met in competitive matches since the start of the 21st century with Aldershot FC's demise in 1992 coming at the same time as the Chairboys rise into the Football League under Martin O'Neill. The first ever clash at the Recreation Ground came in September 2004 in the Football League Trophy. Aldershot Town were still a Conference side in those days but qualified for the competition due to their league placing the previous season.

Striker Jonny Dixon, later to sign for the Shots, came off the bench to flick a header into the net at the near post from Danny Senda's left-wing corner midway through the second half to win the tie 1-0. An interesting comparison with tomorrow evening's clash is the Blues starting line-up that night, which was Steve Williams, Gary Silk, Andy Reilly, Charlie Comyn-Platt, Roger Johnson, Danny Senda, Clint Easton, Gus Uhleenbeek, Adam Birchall, Ian Stonebridge and Bas Savage.

The first meeting in the Football League came in December 2008 as Peter Taylor's high-flying side arrived in Hampshire with an 18-match unbeaten record in League Two. The hosts, led by Gary Waddock, proved far too powerful as they raced into a two-goal half-time lead courtesy of a brace from striker Kirk Hudson. Loanee Angelo Balanta pulled a goal back with just under a quarter of an hour remaining but striker Danny Hylton restored the Shots two goal lead in the final minute. Matt Phillips deflected strike in injury-time proved to be just a consolation as Aldershot won 3-2 to inflict a first league defeat of the season on the Blues.

The last meeting at the Rec was back in September 2010 but you'll forgiven for forgetting it. The two sides played out a dreadfully dull goal-less draw in which the Wanderers posed almost no attacking threat whatsoever. The home side only showed marginally more going forward as Waddock's return turned into something of a damp squib. Looking forward (in the most literal of senses) I doubt anyone would want to swap places with Gareth Ainsworth right now. Here's the injury list he faces in full...

Jesse Kewley-Graham (Midfielder) - back injury - available (returned to the bench at the weekend)

Bruno Andrade (Winger) - bruised foot - available (returned to the starting line-up at the weekend after two weeks out)

Dennis Oli (Attacker) - ankle ligament injury - available (returned to the bench at the weekend after ten weeks out)

Gary Doherty (Centre Back) - back injury - doubtful

Stuart Lewis (Midfielder) - hamstring injury - doubtful

Dean Morgan (Attacker) - hamstring injury - doubtful

Matt McClure (Attacker) - hamstring injury - doubtful

Nikki Bull (Goalkeeper) - unavailable (doesn't want to play for the club)

Matt Ingram (Goalkeeper) - unavailable (on three-month youth loan with Oxford City)

Anthony Stewart (Right / Centre Back) - suspected muscle injury (could miss the next fortnight)

Danny Foster (Right Back) - groin injury (no timescale for recovery given)

Leon Johnson (Centre Back) - knee injury (no timescale for recovery given)

Marvin McCoy (Right Back) - ankle ligament injury (could return to full training in the next fortnight)

Grant Basey (Left-Back) - anterior cruciate ligament injury (ruled-out for the rest of the season after surgery)

Matt Bloomfield (Midfielder) - groin injury (no timescale for recovery given)

Jo Kuffour (Attacker) - ankle ligament injury (could miss the next three weeks)

The Wanderers may line-up as follows (4-4-2):

Jordan Archer

Charles Dunne - Dave Winfield - Gary Doherty - Sam Wood

Joel Grant - Josh Scowen - Matt Spring - Bruno Andrade

Junior Morais - Richard Logan

Subs: Lee Harrison, Kortney Hause, Jesse Kewley-Graham, Gareth Ainsworth, Lee Angol, Dennis Oli, Oliver Taylor

Aldershot Town have been boosted by the return of midfielder Scott Donnelly. He had been sidelined with a groin problem having just signed on a short-term contract at the Recreation Ground last month and will be hoping to start against his former side. He is one of a quartet of ex-Chairboys, with goalkeeper Jamie Young, defender Guy Branston and midfielder Josh Payne all joining Donnelly on the bench for the Shots 2-1 win over Isthmian League Premier Division side Hendon in the first round of the F.A. Cup at the weekend.

Striker Craig Reid is the Shots leading goalscorer this season with seven so far this season and he came through a late fitness test on a knee injury to start at the weekend. Midfielder Adam Mekki and winger Alex Rodman are both slight doubts after missing out with knocks. Goalkeeper Ross Worner remains sidelined with a back injury which has kept him out for the last eight months. Midfielder Craig Stanley continues his rehabilitation from a broken leg whilst defender Oliver Lancashire faces another three weeks out with an abdomen injury. The Shots may line-up something like this (5-3-2):

Glenn Morris

Ben Herd - Aaron Morris - Sonny Bradley - Troy Brown - Anthony Tonkin

Danny Rose - Peter Vincenti - Danny Hylton

Craig Reid - Michael Rankine

Subs: Jamie Young, Guy Branston, Myles Anderson, Kieron Cadogan, Jack Munns, Josh Payne, Scott Donnelly


Here are the stats...


The league table currently shows Wycombe in 22nd place with 12 points from 14 games and Aldershot in 23rd spot with 12 points from 15 games. The Blues have a goal-difference of -10 to the Shots -13.


Aldershot Home Record....W 1 - D 1 - L 5 - Pts 4...Ppg 0.57 (Rank-24)

Wycombe Away Record.....W 2 - D 0 - L 5 - Pts 6...Ppg 0.86 (Rank-21)


Aldershot's last five results (All Competitions)

Lg2: Gillingham (A)..........Lost 0-4

Lg2: Rotherham (H)..........Lost 0-3

Lg2: Southend (A)............Won 2-1

Lg2: Dagenham (A).........Drew 0-0

FAC: Hendon (H)..............Won 2-1


Wycombe's last five results (All Competitions)

Lg2: Fleetwood (A)............Won 1-0

Lg2: Port Vale (A)..............Lost 1-4

Lg2: Barnet (H)................Drew 0-0

Lg2: Oxford (H).................Lost 1-3

FAC: Crewe (A).................Lost 1-4



Aldershot Goal Stats (19 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total)..........Lg: 12...Cups: 4...Total: 16

Goals Conceded (Total)......Lg: 25...Cups: 4...Total: 29

Goals Scored (Home).........Lg: 2.....Cups: 2...Total: 4

Goals Conceded (Home).....Lg: 9.....Cups: 1...Total: 10

Clean Sheets.....................Lg: 4.....Cups: 1...Total: 5


Wycombe Goal Stats (17 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total)..........Lg: 13...Cups: 4...Total: 17

Goals Conceded (Total)......Lg: 23...Cups: 6...Total: 29

Goals Scored (Away).........Lg: 8.....Cups: 4...Total: 12

Goals Conceded (Away).....Lg: 15...Cups: 6...Total: 21

Clean Sheets.....................Lg: 2.....Cups: 0...Total: 2


Aldershot's Goal Scorers - (All Competitions)

Craig Reid................7

Danny Hylton............3

Josh Payne...............1

Alex Rodman............1

Michael Rankine........1

Troy Brown..............1

Sonny Bradley..........1


Wycombe's Goal Scorers - (All Competitions)

Joel Grant................3

Dean Morgan............3

OG..........................2

Gareth Ainsworth......1

Bruno Andrade.........1

Stuart Beavon..........1

Matt Bloomfield.........1

Gary Doherty...........1

Matt McClure............1

Josh Scowen............1

Matt Spring..............1

Sam Wood...............1


Aldershot Shooting (Top-3) - All Comps

Craig Reid.........16 on-target...13 off-target...2 against woodwork

Danny Hylton.......8 on-target...11 off-target...0 against woodwork

Michael Rankine...7 on-target...10 off-target...1 against woodwork


Wycombe Shooting (Top-3) - All Comps

Joel Grant...........8 on-target...11 off-target...0 against woodwork

Dean Morgan.....10 on-target.....5 off-target...0 against woodwork

Joe Kuffour..........5 on-target.....7 off-target...2 against woodwork


Shooting (Club) - League only

Aldershot.....47 on target...57 off target...2 against w'work (Rank-21)

Wycombe.....46 on target...53 off target...0 against w'work (Rank-23)


Most Assists

Aldershot - Tonkin & Rankine.................2

Wycombe - Ainsworth, Grant & Lewis......2


League Form Guide

All Season


Aldershot....Pld: 15...W: 3...D: 3...L: 9...Pts: 12...Pts per game: 0.80

Wycombe....Pld: 14...W: 3...D: 3...L: 8...Pts: 12...Pts per game: 0.86


Last Five league Games

Aldershot.........LLLWD - 4 points (Rank-22)

Wycombe........WWLDL - 7 points (Rank-15)


Last Five League Games (Home)

Aldershot..........DWLLL - 4 points (Rank-23)


Last Five League Games (Away)

Wycombe...........LLLWL - 3 points (Rank-24)


Against Top Half Opposition

Aldershot.....Pld: 8...Pts: 0.....Pts per game: 0.00...(Rank-24)

Wycombe.....Pld: 7...Pts: 10...Pts per game: 1.43...(Rank-7)


Against Bottom Half Opposition

Aldershot......Pld: 7...Pts: 12...Pts per game: 1.71...(Rank-13)

Wycombe......Pld: 7...Pts: 2.....Pts per game: 0.29...(Rank-24)


Previous Meetings

In 5 previous meetings there have been 2 wins for Wycombe, 1 for Aldershot and 2 draws.

2004/05 FLT: Aldershot 0 Wycombe 1

2008/09 LG2: Aldershot 3 Wycombe 2

2008/09 LG2: Wycombe 3 Aldershot 0

2010/11 LG2: Aldershot 0 Wycombe 0

2010/11 LG2: Wycombe 2 Aldershot 2


The Man In The Middle

Tuesday's referee is David Phillips from West Sussex who was promoted to the National List of Referees in 2008. His most recent Wycombe game was last season's 4-2 home win over Leyton Orient. During the current campaign he's issued 2 red and 47 yellow cards in 13 appearances.


Predictions

Benny: Aldershot 1 Wycombe 0

Len: Aldershot 1 Wycombe 1




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The Journalist

Writer: Benny & Len Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday November 5 2012

Time: 3:38PM

 

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