The Coasters return to action this Saturday as Chris Beech’s side take the long trip south to face Aveley FC for the first time in our history. The Millers stand between us and round five of the FA Trophy, and with the home side sat in seventh in the National League South we pulled all the facts ahead of Saturday’s trip to Parkside.

The Lowdown:

The Coasters travel down south with a 100% record in 2024 starting off the year with wins against Rochdale and Hartlepool. Goals from Nick Haughton and a deflected Jon Ustabasi strike gave the Coasters all 3 points on Tuesday night despite a late consolation goal from Jake Hastie which was the only negative from a dominant display.

This Saw the Coasters move into 22nd with games in hand on teams around them. The hosts come into this game unbeaten in 2 and currently overachieving in the National League South occupying the last playoff spot in 7th place. Recently promoted last season to the 2nd highest tier of non-league football, many predicted Aveley to struggle however they have defied all expectations and could achieve their 3rd promotion in a row at the first time of asking.

A dominant 1-3 win away at Welling last time out proves that Aveley are no slouches and will be some test for the Coasters who will be without Emeka Obi for 4 months after an injury in the Rochdale game.


The Manager: Danny Scopes

Scopes had an illustrious playing career right across non-league most notably making his name at Concord Rangers and becoming somewhat of a legend there. Over 300 appearances at Wakering Rovers shows that Scopes loyalty to a club is second to none. A spell at Tilbury after Wakering showed that Scopes’ career was coming to an end so he turned to the sidelines and found himself as a coach at Concord Rangers under Danny Cowley. He and Cowley enjoyed a good relationship on the sideline and became joint managers of the Rangers.

They enjoyed a great spell at Concord taking them through the divisions and enjoying progression off the pitch as much as on it with crowds increasing with the locals enjoying what was being produced on the pitch. They took Concord to the conference South which was some achievement compared to what they inherited. However, between the spell Scopes left the club to enjoy other opportunities, however did return to the club in a different and more relaxed role as coach. The Cowleys left in 2015 to go onto better things and Scopes also departed the club but would return in 2018 under a different coaching regime. This time under the former Leatherhead boss Sammy Moore.

Concord became a consistent Conference South side however in 2019 Moore left the club and Scopes took on the job full time. In his 2 seasons as manager of Concord he managed to keep them in the South as well as taking them to the Fa Trophy final losing out to Harrogate. However, in May 2021 Scopes stepped down from the manager role a day after Concords chairman had resigned. Scopes remained without a club before joining Aveley FC in the November of 2021. In 2022, he earned promotion with Aveley at the first time of asking and in the following season he managed to replicate that success with a playoff win to send Aveley to the Conference South. With things on the up Scopes will be scoping out a trip to Wembley and to write more history in the Aveley history books.


Key Players:

Siji Odelusi – The defender is one of Aveley’s top goalscorers this season and has been vital at both ends of the pitch and a key reason why Aveley currently occupy a playoff place. 

Charlee Hughes – The striker has been a key man for Aveley this season providing a big physical presence at the top end of the pitch and sticking it in the back of the net when given the opportunity, he will be looking to take advantage of the Coasters defensive injuries this weekend.

Jonathan North – The Goalkeeper who is a key reason why Aveley are in the playoffs. Impressive distribution as well as a good shot stopper, he is a massive reason why Aveley have one of the best defences in the National League South. 


Previous Meetings:

This is the first time the two sides have ever met.


Opposition Form:

Aveley came into this off the back of 2 wins in a row which ended a poor run of form. Sitting happily in the playoffs, Aveley will be looking to kick on in the new year and a cup run could help this massively. A team made on a solid defence is crucial at this level and the clean sheets are proving vital in gaining them 3 points.

A dominant display last time out shows they are capable of putting teams to the sword, should be a good watch for the neutral with both sides unbeaten in the new year.