All posts by Ju Ralph

Sport lecturer, follower of all things Robur Siena and Calcio. Regular visitor to Milano and Sardegna.

Reece Brown- Reaping rewards for trusting in his potential.

The competitiveness of lower league football and the fight for promotion and relegation is heading to another nail biting climax. This is the period of the season where each clubs prized players need to hit the heights of their performance potential.

Reece Brown, the 23 year old midfielder and graduate of the Birmingham City Academy is one of those players with a telling contribution to Forest Green Rovers season so far.

Born in Dudley in the West Midlands, Brown has settled into his second season with Forest Green Rovers (FGR) after signing in the summer of 2017. After short loans spells to Notts County and Chesterfield between 2014 and 2017, he made the switch to the Nailsworth based club on an initial one year deal that was extended for this current promotion push.

During his first season with the club who were embarking on their inaugural campaign in the Football League, Brown played 33 league games and scored two goals with both coming before the end of October 2017. With the Rovers avoiding an immediate return to the National League, Brown has had the impact that manager Mark Cooper signed him for during the 2018/19 season. Two goals last weekend away at Port Vale kept Forest Green in the play-off positions and took his tally to ten goals in the league alongside his ten assists. Those ten assists see Brown joint with Nicky Adams of Bury (3 goals) and Tranmere’s Conner Jennings (7 goals), this is a phenomenal return for the young midfielder whose strengths are his ball playing ability, pace and work-rate during games.

Reece’s goals in five of the matches have seen his side go on to win those games, his first league goal of the season came on October 23rd 2018 in a 3-1 win versus Tranmere.

He scored in the next two games in wins against Exeter City and a 2-1 loss away at table toppers Lincoln City. Manager Mark Cooper has trusted Brown in his midfield and attacking plans this season with Reece featuring in all 39 league games to date. His brace at Port Vale led to manager Cooper commenting in the local press that Brown was “doing things properly and getting his rewards”. As the season draws to a close the issue of Brown’s contract has surfaced, the club seem confident they can secure him to a new deal. If his form with vital assists and goals continues in the final seven matches however, clubs in the leagues above will surely have him on their target list for the 2019/20 season.

For now the FGR fans and staff will hope that Reece Brown carries this seasons form on to secure one of the play-off places and who knows what next for this exciting young prospect.

Do you believe that Brown could make the move up to League One or higher if FGR fail to gain promotion?

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.

Key Players

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.

Run In

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