LET'S LOOK AT: Aldershot Town (PT. 2)
Feature by Jaybee
Updated Wednesday, 3rd February 2010
The latest in Barnet Mad's new history series
LET’S LOOK AT
ALDERSHOT (PT. 2)
The new club, named Aldershot Town, came into existence on the 22nd April 1992 and on the 16th June the club were admitted to the Diadora League Division Three (now the Ryman League), five divisions below the football league.
The new club’s first match, under new manager, Steve Wignall, was at home to Clapton, on the 22nd August 1992 and the team made a terrible start going 2-0 down, but they recovered to win 4-2 with two goals apiece from Mark Butler and Steve Stairs. The shots went on to win their first ten league matches and at the end of the season they were champions by a margin of 18 points, remaining unbeaten at home all season. Nearly 6,000 fans attended a Hampshire Senior Cup match against Farnborough Town, who were then a Conference side.
The following season saw them in the Diadora Division Two and the Shots were promoted again after finishing third. The club also reached the quarter finals of the FA Vase before going out 2-0 to Atherton Laburnum Rovers after a replay. However, the club lost Wignall who moved to take over Colchester United. Steve Wigley became manager and the club only just missed out on promotion from Diadora League Division One at the first attempt, missing out to Chertsey Town, on goal difference and finishing 4th.
In the end, it was to be three years before Aldershot made it into the Premier Division, winning the Division One title in 1998 by 11 points from Billericay Town.
Two years later, the club finished as runners up in the Premier Division to Dagenham & Redbridge, but were 24 points behind and only the champions were promoted to the Nationwide Conference. That season, the new club also made it through to the later stages of the FA Cup for the first time, reaching the 2nd round before losing 2-0 to league side, Exeter City.
Aldershot finished 4th and 3rd respectively in the next two seasons, before finally achieving promotion to the Conference by winning the, now renamed, Ryman Premier Division in 2003, finishing 13 points ahead of runners up Canvey Island, under manager, Terry Brown.
The club were now just one promotion away from returning to the football league and they nearly achieved it in their first season in the Conference, reaching the play-offs after finishing 5th. In the semi-finals, they defeated Hereford United, but lost the final to Shrewsbury Town. In the FA Cup, the club reached the 2nd round again, before losing 1-0 to Colchester. The Shots also reached the semi-final of the FA Trophy before losing 3-1 on aggregate to Hednesford Town.
In 2004/05, Aldershot reached the play-offs again after finishing 4th, but lost on penalties in the semi-final to Carlisle United, who went on to win promotion alongside champions, Barnet. The Shots reached the 2nd round of the FA Cup again before losing 5-1 to Hartlepool.
2005/06 was a disappointment, the club only managing to finish 13th, though the Shots did reach the 2nd round of the FA Cup again, going down 1-0 to Scunthorpe United.
In 2006/07, the club reached the 3rd round of the FA Cup for the first time since the reestablishment of the club in 1992. They eventually went out 4-2 to Blackpool.
In 2008, the club finally achieved their aim of league football for the town of Aldershot, winning the, now renamed, Blue Square Premier, under Gary Waddock, by a massive 15 points and ending up with 101 points. The new club had risen from the depths of the Diadora League Division Three to League Two of the football league in just 16 years.
Last season, the club finished a respectable 15th in their first season and, this season, are currently 8th at the time of writing, just a single point off of the play-offs.