Aldershot Town vs Brentford
The EBB Stadium
The Shots are building up to their fifth straight season in the National League after last season's Play-Off Semi-Final disappointment. It's been a slow climb back towards the EFL for Aldershot after relegation and administration in 2013. The Hampshire club flirted with relegation for their first two seasons at this level before a mid-table finish during the 2015/16 season.
Gary Waddock returned to the EBB Stadium for a second spell as manager last summer and the results were instant. The Shots had the meanest defence in the division, conceding just 13 goals at home, and 37 in total, as they spent the whole season in and around the Play-Off pack. After ensuring a Play-Off berth on the final day of the season they found Tranmere Rovers too much in the Semi-Final, losing 5-2 on aggregate.
There could be two familiar faces up against The Bees tonight with former Bees midfielder Manny Oyeleke and goalkeeper Mark Smith both currently with The Shots. It's been a slow summer on the transfer front so far with only Maidstone United winger Billy-Joe Taylor and Corinthian Casuals striker Shaun Okojie added to the group at The EBB Stadium
Gary Waddock is most closely associated with our West London rivals Queens Park Rangers after eight years there as a player and a spell as manager. The midfielder also enjoyed spells with Charleroi, Millwall, Swindon Town, Bristol Town, and Luton Town before retiring in 1998 after making more than 530 professional appearances and earning 21 caps for the Republic of Ireland.
Waddock's managerial career got off to an inauspicious start as he lasted just seven months at QPR. A year later, he was appointed Aldershot Town manager, leading them to the Conference League Cup and Conference title in his first season. Less than a year later he moved on again for a three year spell at Wycombe Wanderers which saw two relegations and a promotion before short spells with MK Dons, Oxford United, Barnet, and Portsmouth preceeded his return to Hampshire last summer.
Admission tonight will be from the High Street Turnstiles at the EBB Stadium, prices: