This Saturday Notts County returns to The EBB Stadium (The Recreation Ground) for the fourth time since dropping into the National League in 2019.
Having not yet registered a win since Notts fell into the National League away at the Aldershot, Luke Williams and his side will be hoping to change that by beating The Shots for a second time this season. However, Ross McNeilly (Aldershot Town Manager) and his troops will be hoping to maintain their impressive run against The Magpies in recent years, proving themselves to be a ‘bogey club’ to the visitors.
A win for Aldershot would be only the second time Notts County have failed to take any points from a game, losing this season only to Dorking Wanderers in a shock 3-1 defeat back in September.
In the reverse fixture at Meadow Lane, Aldershot were able to stand strong until half time but with the undoubted talents of Notts County forwards Cedwyn Scott and Macaulay Langstaff, who both managed to put the ball into the back of the net, Aldershot had a pointless trip home after losing 2-0. In this game, Magpies goalkeeper Sam Slocombe was forced into action on rare occasion, and Aldershot would’ve been happy to not have suffered a heavier defeat.
Notts County will be looking to continue their impressive away record this season which has helped lift them to the top of the National League table, 2 points clear of title favourites Wrexham, in one of the most heated title races in National League history. Notts have managed to gain an impressive 58 points in 25 games so far this season with 28 of those coming from away matches with 8 wins, 4 draws and 1 loss.
Aldershot Town however haven’t been graced with such a prolific record, as they currently sit 19th in the National League, just 5 points off the drop zone. Aldershot sit on 26 points from this current season with 13 points coming from their home fixtures, with 4 wins, 1 draw and 6 losses. Notts County will be hoping to make that 7 losses for The Shots on their home turf, who haven’t won a game at home since November.
Notts County come into this game on red-hot form with 4 wins from the previous 5, dropping points most recently with a draw away at Oldham on New Year’s Day. In those fixtures, Notts have scored an impressive 16 goals whilst also conceding 9. Aldershot however come into this game winning 2 of the last 5 in the league, and losing the remainder, scoring 6 goals and conceding 8.
Aldershot’s front man Inih Effiong is the man to watch for Notts County who is currently leading goal scorer for The Shots, registering 8 goals in 22 games. 2 of those goals come in quick succession, scoring 2 in the previous 2 games, and he will be wanting to extend that run this Saturday. Another man Notts need to be wary of is Aldershot’s recent signing Jake Hutchinson who signs on loan from Colchester United. Hutchinson spent the first half of the season at Eastbourne Borough FC of the National League South, netting 12 in 23 games and making a name for himself as a goal scorer.
Notts County do come into this game with their own threats, with the most obvious being the league’s top scorer Macaulay Langstaff, who brags an impressive return of 22 goals in 24 games. Needless to say, himself and strike partner Cedwyn Scott will be threats with combined goals this season reaching 34 which actually betters that of the total tally for Aldershot Town with 32.
In their recent press conferences, Ross McNeilly claims the clubs’ recent fixtures ‘don’t come much tougher’ than their recent 3 but insist Aldershot are ‘very well prepared’ to face the league leaders Notts County and admits Aldershot will ‘need to be at our best, otherwise we will get caught out’. Luke Williams believes his team need to ‘react positively’ from the recent result against Oldham and says we ‘have to get back to winning very, very quickly’.
It’s no secret that Notts County are the favourites for this tie but with the shaky record against Aldershot in different seasons for Notts, nothing is certain, and The Shots, who are known for upsetting the Nottinghamshire outfit, will be hoping to get their season back on track after consecutive losses to rivals Woking.
*Article provided by Matthew Dudley (Notts County Correspondent).
*Main image @Official_NCFC Notts celebrate during a hard earned win.