Boreham Wood v Aldershot Town
Saturday 28th August 2021, 3.00pm
Meadow Park, Vanarama National League
Match Preview written by Aaron Bennis (BWFC Media Assistant)
This Saturday, Wood welcome fans back to Meadow Park for the first home game of the 2021/22 National League campaign, looking to build on their opening day win over Weymouth by hosting Aldershot Town.
The Shots faced an improved 2020/21 season, finishing down in 15th just three points below the Wood.
Wood will similarly be keen to improve on their 14th place finish last time out.
2020/21 SEASON REVIEW
Aldershot will be keen to continue their slight upward trajectory over the past few seasons, with an eye on making sure they can secure a higher finish this time around. After finishing 5th in 2017/18, they followed up their play-off disappointment with a poor showing that saw them scrape survival, finishing down in 21st and just four points off the drop zone. They followed this up with a slightly better 18th place finish that again saw them four points off the drop before a much more comfortable campaign in which they finished 21 points above Barnet in 22nd, albeit in a year where relegation was declared void due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wood faced a 14th place finish in the 2020/21 campaign and will be keen to go one better this time around. Following a second play-off attempt in three seasons fans were looking forward to another high finish but alas, it wasn’t to be. A 12-game unbeaten run included just two wins and massively hindered their chances at getting into the top seven again, ending the season with four defeats in seven. It wasn’t all doom and gloom, however. An FA Cup run has eluded Wood throughout their history, going furthest in 2017 with a second round appearance after a famous victory over league side Blackpool. A weaker opponent at the same stage last season allowed for a better chance at going further, doing so with a comfortable 3-0 win over Canvey Island. Championship outfit Millwall awaited in the club’s first ever third round appearance. Blighted by the lack of fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the main talking point going into the upcoming season is their return, and is something bound to help Wood get over the line and improve on their mid-table finish last time out.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Kodi Lyons-Foster became Danny Searle’s first signing upon his arrival at Aldershot in the summer of 2019, making it the centre back’s second spell at the club. Having featured in the academies of both Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa, he joined Bristol City in 2016 but failed to make a first team appearance and arrived at Guernsey on loan. His first stint with the Shots came following a successful trial in 2017, however this was short-lived and he left the club at the expiry of his contract in January 2018 after making just seven appearances. He had spent time on loan at Whitehawk which was made permanent before joining newly-promoted Braintree Town last summer, missing just seven games during a successful campaign. He returned to the UBB Stadium ahead of the 2019/20 season, helping them to an improved 18th place finish.
After spending time in the youth team of Charlton Athletic, Toby Edser graduated from the Nottingham Forest academy where he signed a professional contract in August 2017. He enjoyed loan spells with Woking and Port Vale before spending a trial period with Aldershot Town prior to the 2020/21 season. This proved to be successful and he was signed ahead of the new campaign, with the 21-year old going on to make 47 appearances in all competitions. He has extended his contract with the Shots ahead of the 2021/22 season and will be keen to keep up his impressive performances in the centre of midfield.
Born in Camden to a Libyan father and a Moroccan mother, Mo Bettamer began his career in the youth team of the London Tigers where he earned a move to Watford on a one-year deal in 2010, but wasn’t offered a professional contract. A return to the Tigers soon followed before joining Hayes & Yeading United, where he spent a season struggling to nail down a first team place. He signed for Bedfont Town on loan in an attempt to gain more opportunities before being released in March 2012. A brief spell with North Greenford United lead to a third stint with London Tigers before leaving for Hampton & Richmond Borough. He had trials with Dagenham & Redbridge as well as Maidenhead United but failed to make an impact and left England for the country of his father, joining Libyan side Al-Ahly (Benghazi). He helped them reach the quarter-finals of the CAF Champions League but was unable to play during the remaining two years of his contract due to the ongoing civil war in Libya causing the domestic season to be suspended. He returned to England upon the expiry of his contract with Staines Town, where he netted 42 goals in 89 games. Bettamer’s form meant he finally began to catch the eye and was on the verge of a move to League Two side Stevenage in the summer of 2018, but instead ended up at Braintree Town on a non-contract basis, just prior to a move to Salford falling through. He signed for Barnet midway through the 2018/19 season but was loaned out to Welling United and Hemel Hempstead Town after a handful of appearances. A move to Aldershot Town came about in October 2019 after his frustrating time with the Bees ended with his contract being mutually terminated.
LAST TIME WE MET
Aldershot Town 3-3 Boreham Wood
Saturday 20th March 2021
EBB Stadium, National League
A six-goal thriller was on show at the EBB Stadium with goals from Josh Rees and Toby Edser cancelling out an own goal from Giles Phillips as well as strikes from Corey Whitley and Kabongo Tshimanga.
It was the Wood who began strongest, opening the scoring after just 14 minutes when Tyrone Marsh gathered the ball after a clearance. He picked out Kane Smith who took the ball into his stride and squared it across the box for Phillips to turn into his own net. The Shots had numerous opportunities to level the score but it wasn’t to be, ending with a fairly comfortable first period for the visitors. The hosts were keen to get back into it however and an equaliser would prove to be on its way. Toby Edser’s clever flick was able to beat Nathan Ashmore just over ten minutes after the break after some good work from Ricky Miller. He turned Jamal Fyfield to pick out Harrison Panayiotou who found Edser at the near post.
Despite this lifeline, Wood responded quickly through Corey Whitley, regaining their lead when the striker came in from the left-hand side to smash it past Hall. It soon got even better with Kabongo Tshimanga firing home a penalty to give them a 3-1 lead. However, the Shots refused to give up easily. Josh Rees pulled one back with a brilliant volley following a set-piece before netting his second 12 minutes from the end. Aldershot’s comeback was complete, bringing a close to a disappointing afternoon in Hampshire for the Wood.
HOW TO WATCH
All spectators are encouraged to pre-purchase their match tickets to avoid queuing and congestion upon entry into the ground. Tickets are also available to be purchased on the day via cash and debit/credit card.
Home supporters purchasing match tickets on the day should go to the club’s ticket office located in the main club car park, whereas visiting supporters can purchase match tickets on the day from their designated turnstiles.
You can keep up with the action via our Twitter and Instagram pages, where there will be regular updates throughout the course of the match.
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