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Brown Calls The Shots

Article from the Nationwide Conference Play-off Preview

If Terry Brown can guide Aldershot to an unlikely play-off win over Hereford and complete the job by winning the final, it would complete a remarkable turnaround for the Hampshire club.

The Shots went out of business in March 1992, starting again that year in Ryman Division Three. Four promotions followed in 11 years with Brown getting the side into the Conference in his first full season.

And while Brown admits Hereford, who finished second and 21 points ahead of the Shots, will be massive favourites when the side's meet in the first leg, he is expecting an open encounter.

He said: "Twenty-one points is a fair way so you could call them favourites so the pressure is on them. We haven't been playing well in recent weeks so hopefully the burden of reaching the play-offs will take a weight off our shoulders, hopefully we'll go out and express ourselves.

"They are undoubtedly the best footballing side in the division but they'll always give you a chance at the back. They're of a similar ilk to us, we can be like a sieve at times.

"The last 12 years have been fantastic. I've been here the last two years and every target we have set ourselves we have achieved. Our realistic aim for this season was the play-offs so everything now is a bonus."

The other semi-final promises to be a much tighter affair with Shrewsbury taking on Barnet, who were not put off by the departure of manager Martin Allen and managed to hold onto a top-five place under caretaker boss Paul Fairclough.

The England National Game XI coach believes the play-offs are even more exciting as all four teams have played at a higher level in relatively recent times.

"What is very interesting about the play-offs is that there is a legacy of the Football League with all the teams and they've all kept the professional attitude. Maybe that's why they are where they are," Fairclough said.

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