Play-off hopefuls or a step too far for the Greenest team in the world? Forest Green Rovers and their push for League One status
Since 2010 and the major involvement of now Chairman, Dale Vince, Forest Green Rovers have been making news for both their on and off the field developments and strategies. Gaining promotion to League Two via a Wembley play-off win over Tranmere in 2017, gave Forest Green Football League status for the first time. In their first season, despite the impressive haul of 20 league goals from Christian Doidge, they finished in 21st place, one point above the relegation spots. The 2018/19 has seen a remarkable rise for the club who currently lie in the play-off places.
So far this season
A marked improvement this season for Forest Green, they have amassed 54 points from 35 games, the Nailsworth based side have tightened defensively only conceding 35 goals thus far this season. Their passing, possession-based style has seen them climb the table and currently boast a slightly better record away from home with 8 wins, 5 draws and only 4 losses second only away from home to Lincoln City. The Green Devils started the season unbeaten for the first 12 league games, defeat coming away to Northampton in mid-October. That run included 8 draws however and since October 2018 they have only drawn 4 more matches.
After his 20 goals last season, striker Christian Doidge joined Bolton at the start of the season, under acrimonious circumstances and due to Bolton’s transfer embargo he returned to FGR in January 2019 and has netted 8 goals. His return has boosted the team in their search for goals to convert drawn games into victories.
Welsh international George Williams joined the club in the Summer of 2018 after a period of loans at various clubs and his pace and skill has been a vital addition to a young squad assembled by manager Mark Cooper. Operating in wide and forward areas, Williams has scored 6 goals and provided 3 assists.
Reece Brown has ably assisted the frontline this season with 9 assists and 6 goals too and poses another pace threat alongside Williams.
Joseph Mills operating from left wing-back has been given licence to get forward as often as he can and has found an eye for goal with 3 to his name and also 5 assists.
Recent form ( last 5 games) LLWLL
Forest Green’s recent form has dipped with only one win in their last five games, that came at home over struggling Yeovil. Defeats included a home loss to Notts County and losses by the odd goal to fellow promotion chasers Mansfield and Lincoln City.
FGR have a remaining tough month of March in front of them. Trips to relegation candidates Morecambe and Port Vale are sandwiched by vital games versus Colchester and Carlisle who are level on points and one point behind them respectively. April provides the opportunity to gain promotion points as the season draws to an end, the season finale brings fellow promotion chasers Exeter City to The New Lawn.
Will the Nailsworth based club continue their rise up the league ranks? Their current form must improve to propel the Greenest team in the world to League One and continue their remarkable journey.
Written by Ju Ralph