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Aldershot Town F.C.

Aldershot Town Football Club is a Football League club based in Aldershot, England, founded in the spring of 1992 just after the closure of debt-ridden Fourth Division Aldershot F.C., who had been founded in 1926; had been League members since 1932; founder members of the fourth division.

They play at The Recreation Ground in Aldershot, which for sponsorship reasons is now called 'The EBB Stadium at The Recreation Ground'. The team compete in Football League Two after winning promotion back to the Football League on 15 April 2008 by winning the Conference National. Aldershot Town are also the current holders of the Conference League Cup.

History

Formation

On 25 March 1992, the town of Aldershot was without a football club after Aldershot F.C. became the first Football League team since Accrington Stanley in 1962 to fold during the football season. Aldershot Town was born later the same year, and began life competing in the Isthmian League Division Three. Despite Aldershot Town playing five divisions lower than the Football League, the attendance for their first competitive fixture was higher than the old team's last home tie (against Cardiff City in the Football League Fourth Division on 20 March 1992. Ten successive victories were recorded under the guidance of former player Steve Wignall and Town won the championship by an 18-point margin, a feat made all the more remarkable by the fact that 12 months earlier the manager had just one player on his books.

A further promotion and an FA Vase Quarter Final placing was achieved in the 1993–94 season. When Steve Wignall departed to take charge of Colchester United mid-way through the 1994–95 season, former Nottingham Forest winger Steve Wigley took over. Despite steering the club to six successive victories at the end of the 1994–95 season only goal difference prevented a third successive promotion. After narrowly missing out during the next two seasons Wigley left in July 1997 to become Youth Development Officer at Nottingham Forest. He was replaced by George Borg. Attendances continued to rise during this period and the final fixture of the 1997–98 Isthmian League First Division championship-winning season, at home to Berkhamsted Town, attracted 4,289 people to the Recreation Ground. The success under Borg continued with an Isthmian League Cup, two Hampshire Senior Cups and a runners-up spot in the Isthmian League Premier Division.

The Reserves returned in 2000–01 and entered the Suburban League. The FA Cup in 2000–01 saw Aldershot take on league opposition at The Recreation Ground for the first time since reforming, when Brighton & Hove Albion visited for a 1st Round tie in November and a record attendance of 7,500 were there to see the game. However it was the league side who progressed to meet Scunthorpe United in round two.

2001–02 season

Borg signed a number of experienced Isthmian League players in the summer of 2001 as the club aimed for promotion to the Conference encouraged by some excellent pre-season performances. In the FA Cup, Bristol Rovers were the next League opposition to visit The Recreation Ground, again in the 1st Round. In front of over 5,000 at The Rec, the Shots secured a replay, and only exited the competition when Vitalijs Astafjevs' 87th minute goal took the League side into the 2nd Round, with a 1–0 win in Bristol.

In November 2001 after Borg was critical of supporters whose patience was wearing thin, came a shock defeat at home to Boreham Wood. When Canvey Island overhauled a 1–0 Aldershot lead and won 3–1 just weeks later, the supporters put huge pressure on Borg and the club to end his tenure as manager. In little over a month, Borg, the most successful manager the club had yet seen, left Aldershot Town.

Arrival of Terry Brown

On 20 March 2002 - 10 years to the day since Aldershot F.C. played its last ever league fixture - Aldershot Town F.C. appointed Terry Brown as its fourth manager. He won his first game in charge beating Newport IOW 1–0 in the Hampshire Senior Cup Semi Final 2nd Leg. A 3–0 aggregate win saw them progress to the final at Southampton's St Mary's Stadium where a Stafford Browne hat-trick secured the Hampshire Senior Cup again with a 3–1 win over Havant & Waterlooville.

During the summer of 2002, Brown set about transforming Aldershot Town. Eleven first team players were moved on, and 11 replacements brought in, many former Football League or Conference players. After a few setbacks and injuries to key players, he steered Aldershot to the top of the table in mid November. The Shots never relinquished that position despite Canvey Island trying to close the gap. In April 2003 over 2400 Shots fans made the journey to Canvey Island for what was billed as the title decider. A Roscoe D'Sane penalty secured a 1–0 win.

Six days later, after a 5–1 win over St Albans City, the Shots travelled to Sutton United needing just one point for the championship. Another D'Sane goal secured a 1–1 draw and the Shots won promotion to the Conference at the fifth time of asking. The last game of the season saw 3000 Shots fans head once again to St Mary's as they retained the Hampshire Senior Cup with a 2–1 win over Bashley.

Life in the Conference

A crowd of 3,680 saw Aldershot's first game in the Conference, a 2–1 win over Accrington Stanley. But it was just as taste of things to come as the still part-time side constructed by Terry Brown went on to stay in the play-off positions in the league table for all but 3 days of the season, surrounded by full-time professional former football league sides. The Shots equalled their best ever run in the FA Cup, reaching the 2nd Round and losing 1–0 to Colchester United at Layer Road in a hard fought encounter. And there were more club records tumbling as the side also reached the semi-final of the FA Trophy, losing to eventual winners Hednesford Town and the average attendance for league matches at The Rec ended on a record high of 3,303.

A 1–1 draw against Tamworth on the last day of the season carried the Shots into the play-offs for a place in the Football League. Over two legs the Shots held their own against favourites Hereford United, drawing 1–1 at The Rec and 0–0 at Edgar Street. Extra time finished without any further score and the tie was concluded on penalties with the Shots winning 4-2. The Conference Playoff Final against Shrewsbury Town finished 1–1 after extra time. Shrewsbury returned to the league with a 3–0 win in the penalty shoot-out.

Professional status achieved

A meeting on 24 May 2004 saw the club officers take the historic decision to convert Aldershot Town to full-time professional status from 1 July 2004. For the first time since March 1992 the town of Aldershot had a professional football team.

In 2004–05 the Shots once again equalled their best ever run in the FA Cup as they reached the 2nd Round proper, where they lost 5–1 to Hartlepool United. After a slow start in the league, Aldershot showed some fine form in the run-in. In their final game of the season they needed to beat Scarborough to reach the play-offs. In front of nearly 4,500 Tim Sills was the hero as his brace ensured Exeter City and Morecambe with their superior goal differences could not qualify.

The Shots faced Carlisle United but there was no repeat of the 5–0 home Conference humiliation at the hands of the Cumbrians, as Nick Crittenden's goal saw Aldershot take a 1–0 first leg advantage to Brunton Park. Before half time Carlisle had overturned Aldershot's lead to hold the advantage 2–1 on aggregate, before loanee Jamie Slabber levelled in stoppage time. Extra time could not separate the sides and the tie went to penalties. At one point the Shots were 3–1 up, but the shoot-out went to sudden death. Jon Challinor missed his effort and Danny Livesey sent Carlisle into the final.

2005–06 and 2006–07 seasons

The next two seasons were disappointing ones for the Shots. 2005–06 saw Aldershot's team ravaged by injuries, and they struggled to 13th in the table, with a goal difference of -13, 13 years after the end of the new club's first season. The team made it to the 2nd round of the FA Cup, losing 1–0 at home to Scunthorpe United. The next season was equally disappointing, with the side never really getting close enough to the aim of finishing in the playoff positions. The club eventually made it to 9th in the reformed 24 club Conference National, finishing 13 points off the playoffs. Terry Brown resigned, citing the poor health of his wife as the primary reason, although his position may have been untenable with regards to the season's performance. Martin Kuhl took over as caretaker manager. They made it to the 3rd round of the FA Cup for the first time, though, losing 4–2 at Bloomfield Road to Blackpool

Season 2007–08

On 17 May 2007, Gary Waddock was appointed the new manager by the board of directors, with Martin Kuhl reverting to his coaching position. He appointed Rhys Day as club captain. The summer period saw the new manager bring in several new players to the Recreation Ground. These included: Lewis Chalmers, Scott Davies (on loan from Reading), Rob Elvins, Ben Harding, Anthony Charles, Mikhael Jaimez-Ruiz and Anthony Straker. Reserve team player Jason Milleti also signed a profressional contract.

Aldershot Town's fifth consecutive season in the Conference started with an 2–1 away win over Kidderminster Harriers. This was followed by four more away wins to leave the shots with maximum points on the road after 5 games. A run of 8 games undefeated began in September, before finally losing 3–1 away to Stevenage Borough on 6 October 2007. Following another loss to Burton Albion Aldershot went on a winning run of seven league games, which finally ended on 29 December 2007 with a 2–1 defeat at Grays Athletic. Next came two consequetive wins, which meant that the Shots had won 9 out of the last 10 league games.

Aldershot sold Jonny Dixon to Brighton and Hove Albion in the January Transfer window for £56,000, which was then a club record.

After 42 league games, the Shots sat top of the Conference National on 97 points, giving them a 17 point advantage over Torquay United, and needing just one point to gain promotion as Champions. Aldershot were promoted to the Football League, for the first time since the club was reformed, on 15 April 2008, after securing the point they needed in a 1–1 draw away to Exeter City. The Shots finished the season with a draw at Rushden and Diamonds, which meant that they were undefeated in the final 18 league games.

The Shots also made it to the Conference League Cup Final after a 4–3 penalty shoot out victory over near neighbours Woking. The final was played at the Recreation Ground on Thursday 3 April against Rushden & Diamonds. With the scores 1–1 at full time, then 3–3 after extra time, Aldershot won 4–3 on penalties.. It was Gary Waddock's first piece of silverware since taking over as manager.

Aldershot Town finished the season with 101 points from 46 games - a Conference National record.

Football League

After 16 years the town of Aldershot had a Football League team again. Retaining many of the 2007-08 promotion winning team, additional signings of Dean Howell from Rushden and Diamonds, Chris Blackburn from Swindon Town and Marvin Morgan from Woking were made. Gary Waddock and Martin Kuhl also committed their futures to the club by signing new three-year contracts, and Joel Grant was sold to Crewe Alexandra for £130,000, a club record..

In June a three year kit supply deal with Carbrini, the in-house brand of JD Sports was agreed and in July, Aldershot Town chairman John McGinty announced that the main club sponsor for the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons would be EBB (Elliott Baxter & Co Limited)....

On 23 July the club announced the return of Scott Davies, on another season long loan from Reading and the signing of Ben Starosta on a one month loan deal from Sheffield United, with the view to signing him on a permanent contract.

On the opening day of the 2008-09 season, Aldershot Town won their first league game on their return to the Football League at Accrington Stanley , winning 1-0 thanks to a Scott Donnelly free-kick. . This was followed 4 days later by the clubs first ever Football League Cup game, against Coventry City at the Ricoh Arena, which the Shots lost 3-1. The next weekend they played their first Football League game at home, against AFC Bournemouth. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. After nine league games the Shots were in 8th place in the league, with 14 points.

Stadium

Aldershot Town play their home games at the Recreation Ground, which has a capacity of exactly 7,100.

Kit Supplier

In June 2008, Aldershot Town signed a three year kit deal with Carbrini Sportswear.

Current squad

(captain)

Notable players

See also:Aldershot Town F.C. players - a list of all Aldershot Town F.C. players with a Wikipedia article.
Famous former players include: England

Jamaica

Managers

Name Nat From To Games Managed Games Won Games Drawn Games Lost Win percentage
Steve Wignall 23 May 1992 12 January 1995 146 97 24 25 66.43%
Paul Shrubb* 13 January 1995 25 January 1995 1 1 0 0 100%
Steve Wigley 26 January 1995 30 July 1997 135 72 25 38 53.33%
Andy Meyer*, Mark Butler* & Joe Roach* 1 August 1997 17 September 1997 8 3 2 3 37.50%
George Borg 18 September 1997 31 January 2002 261 147 50 64 56.32%
Stuart Cash* 1 February 2002 23 March 2002 14 9 2 1 64.28%
Terry Brown 20 March 2002 27 March 2007 284 145 52 87 51.05%
Martin Kuhl* 28 March 2007 16 May 2007 11 5 3 3 45.45%
Gary Waddock 17 May 2007 Present 74^ 47^ 12^ 15^ 63.51%^

  • *Caretaker Managers
  • ^As of the 4th October 2008

Records

Appearances and goals

Jason Chewins holds the record for the most number of appearances for the club, playing 489 times between August 1994 and May 2004. This led to the left-back being the first and, to date, only player to receive a testimonial which was played against Portsmouth in July 2004.

Before Chewins, the record was held by Mark Butler, who joined the club at its inception in 1992. Butler played 303 times between August 1992 and May 1998, also holding the all-time goal scoring record by netting 155 times, a record he still currently holds. Three other have played more than 200 times for the club, Stuart Udal, whose brother Shaun was an England international cricketer, played 236 times for the club. Goalkeeper Nikki Bull and winger Jimmy Sugrue have also passed the land mark.

Gary Abbott is, apart from Butler, the only Shots player to have ever scored over 100 goals for the club. Over the course of three seasons, between August 1998 and May 2001, he scored 120 goals.

Transfers

Record Purchase

  • Marvin Morgan from Woking for an undisclosed fee (but a club record) in May 2008. The previous highest fee paid for a player was the £20,000 paid to Woking for Grant Payne in November 1999.

Record Sale

Club records

Best League positions

Best cup results

Rivals

Aldershot Town's main rivals in the Conference National league were Woking. During the 1990s Aldershot Town's main rivals were Rushmoor neighbours Farnborough Town. The former club Aldershot FC were fierce rivals with Reading and also enjoyed several smaller rivalries with local clubs such as Bournemouth and Brentford. However due to Reading currently being several divisions above Aldershot Town FC the rivalry with Reading has yet to be recreated.

Season-by-season record

Season Division Position Significant Events
Aldershot Town formed and accepted into Isthmian League Third Division
1992-93 Isthmian League Third Division 1 Promoted as Champions
1993-94 Isthmian League Second Division 3 Promoted, FA Vase Quarter-Final
1994-95 Isthmian League First Division 4 FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round, FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round
1995-96 Isthmian League First Division 5 FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round, FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round
1996-97 Isthmian League First Division 7 FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round, FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round
1997-98 Isthmian League First Division 1 Promoted as Champions, FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round, FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round
1998-99 Isthmian League Premier Division 7 FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round, FA Trophy 4th Round, Hampshire Senior Cup Winners
1999-00 Isthmian League Premier Division 2 FA Cup 2nd Round, FA Trophy 4th Round, Hampshire Senior Cup Winners
2000-01 Isthmian League Premier Division 4 FA Cup 1st Round, FA Trophy 3rd Round
2001-02 Isthmian League Premier Division 3 FA Cup 1st Round, FA Trophy 3rd Round, Hampshire Senior Cup Winners
2002-03 Isthmian League Premier Division 1 Promoted as Champions, FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round, Hampshire Senior Cup Winners
2003-04 Football Conference 5 FA Cup 2nd Round, FA Trophy Semi-Final, Conference Play Off Final
2004-05 Conference National 4 FA Cup 2nd Round, Football League Trophy 1st Round, Conference Play Off Semi-Final
2005-06 Conference National 13 FA Cup 2nd Round, Football League Trophy 1st Round
2006-07 Conference National 9 FA Cup 3rd Round, Hampshire Senior Cup Winners
2007-08 Conference National 1 Promoted as Champions, FA Cup 1st Round, FA Trophy Semi-Final, Conference League Cup Winners
2008-09 Football League Two - Football League Cup 1st Round, Football League Trophy 1st Round,

Shirt manufacturers and sponsors

Years Manufacturers Sponsor
1992–93 Ribero Pam’s Florist
1993–94 Fiva Datrontech
1994–95
1995–96
1996–97
1997–98 ICIS
1998–99 Charters Peugeot
1999–00
2000–01
2001–02
2002–03 Hi-Speed
2003–04
2004–05 Errea Charters Peugeot
2005–06
2006–07 EBB Paper
2007–08 ezylet.co.uk
2008– Carbrini Sportswear EBB Paper

Previous kits

Famous Fans

References

See also

Yokohama FC a replacement football club, which also has a phoenix as it's badge.

External links

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