Aldershot Town currently sit 6th in the National League 1 point behind the playoff places. They are currently 10 games unbeaten and have must recently drew to big spenders Eastleigh last night 1-1 after Craig Maccalister cancelled out Idirs Kanu’s Opener .
One possible reason why Aldershot might get in the playoffs is because of there solid defense. The Shots have got the second best defensive record conceding 31 goals in 34 games and have kept 16 clean sheets in the process. Captain Callum Reynolds who joined from Borehamwood has formed a solid partnership with Will Evans who joined in the summer from Eastleigh and the pair have kept 9 clean sheets together with 55 appearances between them. And with an experienced national league goal keeper Jake Cole as the last line in the defense this is why The shots might get in the Playoffs.
A second reason why Aldershot down may get into the playoffs is because of the Home record. Aldershot play at the EBB stadium or the recreation ground and have the second best home record wining 11 games whilst scoring 29 goals and conceded 11 goals. Aldershot town have suffered poor home record in the last 4 seasons which attendances falling now this has changed fans are back in numbers and a sense of pride is back making it into a loud and intimidating ground to visit. The home record may be vital for the Shots as they have still have to play Lincoln, Daggenham and Dover at home who are in the top 5. Teams will not want to visit the boystrous home of Aldershot town which may unsettle them on and off the pitch.
A final reason why Aldershot town will make the playoffs is because of the management and player staff. Aldershot have a mixture of youth and experience. For example striker Scott Rendell who signed from arch rivals Woking has 201 national league experiences and goal keeper Jake Cole has made 103 conference appearances. Another key strength of the Aldershot side is there pace, fitness and power. Players such as Bernard Mensah, Idris Kanu and Matt McClure have pace to burn and Liam Bellamy and Jake Gallagher provide the muscle and power. Pace and strength are vital attributes needed if you want to be successful in the conference. The young teen also has the flair and the x factor with players such as Idis Knau and Shmir Fenelon creating a good balance to the team. Furthermore the manager Gary Waddock. Waddock made a popular return after he left in 2010 after guiding the shots back into the football league in 2008 tallying over 100 points. He was conference and league experience winning promotion which Aldershot Town and Wycombe Wanderers and he also has a very good assistant in James Row previously at West Ham academy who has contacts at lower league level.
However on the other hand Aldershot Town may fall short. Firstly because of the size of squad may hold them back in the busy April period leading to the final push. Aldershot have a squad size of 17 which is the smallest from 4th down to 8th who are also in contention which making the playoffs. There is a high possibility that injuries and suspension may catch up with the shots as they currently have fan favourite Liam Bellamny out on the side lines due to a knee ligament injury, situations haven’t got much better for the club from Hampshire as they have recently had inform centre midifelder Jim Kellerman sent off against Eastleigh and will now serve a 4 match ban as a result. This could prove pivotable in the next coming weeks as teams don’t look to be dropping form.
A second reason Aldershot town might not make the playoffs is because of their run in of fixtures. Aldershot have still yet played Lincoln, Daggnham, Tranmere, Dover and Macclesfield who are all very experienced and well drilled conference sides who will be battling it up at the top for a reason. Aldershot don’t just have the top teams to play they also have many of the teams threaten by relegation who will be desperate for poitns and who will be fighting for any pints they can. The Shots have still got ot play Sutton, Solihull, Braintree, Norht Ferriby, Gueisely and Torquay who will prove a different test for playoff chasing Aldershot. So overall Alderhsot will be playing teams who have something to play for as much as them.
In my opinion I think Aldershot Town will make the playoffs for various reasons. Firstly they have a young hungry squad with a average age of 23 who want to prove something and be noticed by clubs higher up in the football pyramid. Secondly the fan base is motivated and ready to back the team to the hill and help them return to the football league where they feel the club deserve and rightly so giving there history. Finally the Manager Gary Waddock has assembled a balanced squad and has a certain why of playing that the players have bought into.