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Stuart Dalgleish 14th May 2010 - 14:00

Town can call the Shots at the Rec

After just two seasons in the Football League, Aldershot Town are only three games away from a place in League 1.

Kevin Dillon and his team deserve huge credit, after a solid first season where they finished 15th, he's continued their progression by making them tough to beat and well organised right throughout the side.

This is typified by Player of the Season Ben Herd (who should shake off his ankle injury in time), the defender has been a revelation in his first season at the Recreation Ground, putting in full bloodied performances week in week out, if he and the likes of Chris Blackburn can play as they have all season then they should be in with a great shout of getting through to Wembley.

I think they should certainly be in the tie by the time the teams travel to Sheffield for the 2nd leg, Rotherham have been desperately short of goals recently, despite having 25-goal Adam Le Fondre in the side for pretty much all the season, and are coming in to the play-offs having failed to score in five of their last seven matches.

I think that this game is going to be really closely fought, with the midfield battle key to both teams' chances.

Aldershot will hope Scott Donnelly (8/1 first goal) can continue his fine season, the midfielder has set up plenty for his team-mates and weighed in with just as many for himself, Dean Morgan (11/2) has been allowed to extend his loan from MK Dons and will look to run at Rotherham's full backs, the former Luton man has fitted in well since arriving at the end of March and can operate out wide, through the middle or as a support for Marvin Morgan (9/2).

Damien Spencer (7/1) too has had his loan furthered for the play-off campaign but is struggling to be fit, while Omar Riza is still sidelined.

The Millers have a couple of injury problems too with Tom Pope and Dale Tonge doubtful, but they will be able to call upon the services of Josh Walker (14/1 first goal) and their leading scorer Le Fondre (5/1) after both were rested for the final league game, when their play-off spot was assured.

Walker has been excellent in Rotherham's run-in since joining on loan from Middlesbrough, forming a really solid central midfield partnership with Pablo Mills (40/1) and while the Yorkshire outfit have been lacklustre in front of goal, these two have ensured that the defence have been well supported, contributing to four clean sheets in their last five games, 16 for the season.

With stats like these, you've got to think the game will be low scoring, a 1-0 win is priced at 6/1 for the Shots and 15/2 for Rotherham, under 1.5 goals in the game could be worth a punt at 9/4, the Millers failed to score in either clash with Aldershot this season.

Aldershot, who have lost just one of thier last six against Rotherham, are favourites in the match betting at odds of 11/10, 5/6 to qualify for the final, the draw is quoted at 21/10 while Ronnie Moore's team are 21/10 chances to win the game, 5/6 to make it through to Wembley.

With only one point separating all four of the teams in the League 2 play-offs this season it might not surprise you to see that they are all exactly the same price to secure promotion, 13/5 the odds on offer.

With the Shots and Rotherham finishing the season on average form though I'm not sure they have it in them to go all the way, but it should be a fascinating week or so in the play-offs.

 

 
 
 

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