Match Preview: Swindon v Aldershot

Form… 7th placed Swindon have been unbeaten in their past 7 League Two games and 3 cup games.

Town have won 4 and drawn 2 of their previous 6 League games. At the County Ground, Swindon are unbeaten in 6 games, including a run of 4 victories and 2 draws, since the home defeat by Oxford United.

15th placed Aldershot Town travel to Swindon on the back of 4 wins, 1 draw and 4 defeats on their travels.

After an exciting October, when Aldershot faced Manchester United in the Carling Cup and won 3 League games on the trot, they’ve lost their last two League games and failed to beat non-league Maidenhead United in the FA Cup.

Last time out Aldershot lost to Gillingham 2-1. The Shots also lost their most recent away League game, a 2-0 reverse at Rotherham. Head-to-Head… In all competitions Swindon had faced Aldershot on 63 occasions, winning 37, drawing 14 and suffering 12 defeats.

In the Football League, Swindon have come out on top more than most, winning 30, drawing 10 and defeated 11 times.

After the clubs went head to head most seasons throughout the late 70’s and early 80’s, we haven’t faced the Shots in the Football League since a 4-2 victory in April 1986, as Town celebrated winning the Division Four Title.

Since that meeting in 1986 Swindon have met Aldershot twice, pre and post Aldershot FC’s liquidation in 1992 .

The Rover Freight Semi-Final in March 1987 was the setting for an eventful cup tie. Swindon were two goals to the good with Steve White and Jimmy Quinn scoring either side of the break, but Fraser Digby’s sending off with 40 minutes left to play meant Lou Macari was forced to shove Jimmy Quinn between the sticks. Future Town boss Andy King pulled one back almost immediately, then Mike Ring added the equaliser on 70 minutes. Town and Quinn managed to hold on, taking the tie to Extra Time, only for Steve Wignall’s close range effort to give the Shots a 3-2 win and end Town’s Wembley dream.

A first meeting since Aldershot reformed also came in the Associates Members Cup. Simon Cox and Jerel Ifil scored in a 2-2 Johnstone’s Paint Trophy First Round tie at the Recreation Ground in September 2008, Town eventually winning 7-6 on penalties.

What The Stats Say… Aldershot’s defensive weak points are their 15th ranked percentage of opposition shots on target (50%) and 16th ranked save rate of 70%. On their travels, Aldershot’s defensive inefficiency is greater, allowing 55% of shots against on target, ranked 23rd best in League Two.

In attack, while the Shots manage around 10 shots per game, their accuracy to test their opponent’s ‘keeper is poor, with only 44% of shots on target which is ranked 22nd in League Two.

According to the latest League Two Rankings, away from the Recreation Ground, Aldershot are ranked 6th most efficient in defence and 8th in attack, perhaps indicating Swindon will find it difficult against a side who’ve been strong away than at home this season.

The Shots have scored 14 away goals, with 11 flying into their opponent’s net during the first half. Aldershot’s most dangerous period is between 16-30 minutes when 4 goals have been scored.

With 13 away goals conceded, Aldershot have conceded the majority of goals in the first and last 15 minutes of matches.

Swindon have scored 18 goals at home and are most likely to score towards the end of each half, with 10 scored in the last 15 minutes of each half.

Interestingly….Town have still yet to concede in time added-on at the County Ground this season… Prediction… 

% Chance of Full Time Result: Swindon win: 47% | Aldershot win: 25% | Draw: 28%

% Chance of Scoreline: Swindon 1 Aldershot 0: 14% | Swindon 0 Aldershot 0: 13% | Swindon 0 Aldershot 0: 11% | Swindon 0 Aldershot 1: 10% | Swindon 2 Aldershot 0: 10%

My prediction… With Swindon unbeaten in 10 and Aldershot traveling on the back of two successive defeats, Swindon are best placed to continue to cement their play-off position with a victory.

As Aldershot have a good record of scoring on their travels (failing to score in 15% of their last 20 away games) I can see the Shots getting 1, but I’ll take a 2-1 victory for Swindon.

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