"Form has picked up of late" - FC Halifax Town v Aldershot: Opposition Focus

We spoke to Steve Gibbs, who has covered Aldershot across local and national media for over a decade, for the lowdown on FC Halifax Town's opponents on Saturday.

By Tom Scargill
Friday, 6th May 2022, 8:49 am

How have Aldershot been doing of late?

The club’s National League status was secured last Saturday with an excellent win against a ragged Notts County. That was followed by a spirited draw at Maidenhead United, where The Shots had to twice come from behind. Form has picked up of late and the team are now unbeaten in three - prior to that, though, their form had fallen off a cliff.

Is their position in the table a fair reflection of their season?

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Sinclair Armstrong

Overall, yes. For large chunks of the season, the club has been lucky that there are three teams worse than them. Mark Molesley has admitted it has been ‘feast or famine’ – too often the team has looked horribly disjointed and lacking in every department, with little clue of where its next win is coming from. However, considering where the team were in early November, fourth bottom is a small victory in itself.

What’s the mood and morale like in the camp?

Buoyant, and hopefully enjoying the freedom which safety from relegation will bring. But players should also be full of determination to prove themselves worthy of a National League contract for next season, either at the EBB Stadium or elsewhere.

Would you say they've been playing like a side who can't wait for the season to end of late, or more like they have something to prove?

Again, it depends on which day you ask. In the last month they’ve showed a passion and desire to prove everyone that their league position is false. However, with a run of 1 point from 27 since the end of January, after victory at Weymouth initially seemed to give them enough of a cushion to ensure survival, the team had been playing like they were already on their summer holidays. It was an approach which very nearly saw them come horribly unstuck.

What can Halifax expect to come up against – what’s their style of play?

For much of the season under Molesley the team have employed a defensive gameplan built around three centre-backs and allowing the opposition to dominate possession. The last two games, though, have been played far more on the front foot, with ambition and aggression returning to their armoury and use of a back-four.

Who will be your dangermen on Saturday and why?

Sinclair Armstrong’s belated arrival on loan from Queen’s Park Rangers has given everyone a much-needed shot of adrenaline. Due to join in mid-January, his debut was delayed until late April by injury and concussion. Yet he has exploded into the team, scoring a stunning goal against Notts County and more than once threatening to beat the entire opposition on his own with his pace and power. Alongside him in attack, Mikael Ndjoli has shown guile and energy, while Tommy Willard – a hugely promising young striker playing out wide – has a thrilling ability to create something from nothing. Defensive midfielder Mo Sylla is likely to be named the Club’s Player of the Year for his consistency and solidity.

Injuries/suspensions?

Goalkeeper Mitch Walker’s season was ended by an ACL injury. Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain limped off at Maidenhead with an ankle injury. Kevin Lokko was on the bench on Monday as he makes his way back from another injury. Lewis Kinsella was rested at York Road and should return.

Likely line up and formation?

4-2-3-1 - Hall; Saunders, Lyons-Foster, Phillips, Kinsella; Sylla, Harris; Willard, Berkeley-Agyepong, Armstrong; Ndjoli.