The Coasters continue our survival bid this Saturday afternoon in the Vanarama National League, inviting Aldershot Town to Mill Farm following Tuesday’s last-gasp victory at Dagenham & Redbridge.
The Hampshire outfit have endured a mixed bag of recent results heading into the weekend’s action, but have suffered defeat in both of their last two league clashes, including their midweek 3-1 reverse at Notts County. The loss leaves Town in 17th position, five points above the relegation places. The Coasters, meanwhile, take a huge boost of momentum after securing that elusive league win in East London in the week, which could prove crucial in our final 10 games of the campaign.
Aldershot Town were founded in 1992, following the demise of Aldershot FC. Since then, the club achieved their ambition of becoming a league outfit in 2008, spending five years in the top four divisions and even reaching the League Two play-offs in 2010. The Shots were initially relegated following the conclusion to last season, but were reprieved in the top tier of non-league following the administrative relegation of Gateshead.
Saturday’s visitors boast an array of talent in their squad, with goalkeeper Mitch Walker featuring in every league game this season. Still just 28, Walker – originally on Brighton’s books – spent seven years with Dover Athletic and made over 250 appearances for the Kent side. Signing for Aldershot last year, Walker has also represented the England ‘C’ team. Left-back Lewis Kinsella has made 34 league outings so far this term, signing a deal at the Recreation Ground in 2018 after initially arriving on loan. Once of Aston Villa, 25-year-old Kinsella found his feet in league football when he joined Colchester United in 2016, and has remained reliable this season – albeit suffering a knee injury in last month’s clash at Maidenhead United.
Midfield man Ethan Chislett has been a real shining light for the Shots this season, netting nine goals and playing a starring role. The youngster has made 36 appearances this term for his local side, and has won himself many admirers. Saint Kitts and Nevis international Harry Panayiotou has scored four goals this season since arriving from Greek side Aittitos Spata. The 25-year-old made his senior debut in a Leicester City shirt in 2012, scoring a last-minute winner before going on to play for Barrow, Salford City and Raith Rovers among others. He has scored 10 goals in 21 full international caps.
Danny Searle took over as Aldershot manager in May 2019, after taking the reins at Braintree Town at the end of the 2018/19 season. The 42-year-old has coached in the academy setups at Chelsea and West Ham United among other clubs, and is now looking to steer the Shots safely clear of the National League drop zone.
The Coasters emerged victorious from the reverse fixture at the Recreation Ground on the opening day of the season, returning north with a 2-1 win as Neill Byrne and Danny Rowe were on target. The pick of the results in recent league meetings between the two clubs was undoubtedly our 7-1 rout over the Shots at Mill Farm back in March 2018, Rowe hitting a hat-trick in the opening 19 minutes.