Aldershot Town wouldn't have been expecting to be welcoming Barrow AFC back to the Recreation Ground this season after their relegation from the National League last time around.

A Football League club as recently as 2013, the Shots' fate was sealed with three games of the campaign remaining when they drew 1-1 at home to Hartlepool United. Or so they thought.

As it turned out, winning their final two matches of the season - against fellow relegated teams Havant & Waterlooville and Maidstone United - turned out to be the key to their salvation, even if that wasn't in their hands.

One club's misfortune turned out to be another's bail-out, as Gateshead's financial problems led to them being demoted to National League North, with Aldershot reprieved due to them finishing fourth-from-bottom.

With all this happening in June, it meant the Shots were suddenly preparing for another campaign in the fifth tier with only two months to get a competitive squad together.

They had to do so under a new manager after Gary Waddock's departure, with former Braintree boss Danny Searle stepping into the breach.

Searle is still in the process of finalising his squad, signing Alex Fletcher and Max Hunt on loan from Plymouth Argyle and Derby County, respectively, with both possibly making their debuts against the Bluebirds tomorrow.

Speaking to the club's website, Fletcher said: "I'm happy to be joining at this stage of the season, where everyone is still optimistic about the chances of what could happen. I was more than happy when I got the call to say Aldershot Town were interested because I know it's a good club with a big history and a big fanbase."

Aldershot have had a whole week to prepare for their match against AFC after their midweek match against Barnet was postponed due to the Bees' international call-ups. With them just one point ahead of Barrow, it's already having the look of a key contest.