Tag Archives: Play-offs

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

Three players key to Derby County securing a play off spot

Derby County have been there or thereabouts for the past few seasons, but have failed to make that final step towards promotion. Gary Rowett has taken the side to fifth in the League, and in the process, restored hope among the Rams’ fans that this may finally be there year. But who are the key players spearheading their promotion push?

Matej Vydra- Vydra has been an inconsistent player throughout his young career, twice enjoying fantastic goal-scoring seasons in the Championship with Watford, but failing to perform during spells at Reading and West Brom. Luckily for Derby this season, Vydra is back to his best, with 17 league goals making him the joint top scorer in the division. Vydra has the experience of gaining promotion during his time at Watford, and that experience could be vital for Derby’s hopes this term.

Tom Huddlestone- The England International raised a few eyebrows when he left the Premier League to join Derby in January 2017. But with Hull now fighting a relegation battle in the Championship, after their relegation from the Premier League last year, it looks like Huddlestone made the right decision. The experienced midfielder has played a vital role in the engine room at Derby and has often been deployed in a holding midfield role in Gary Rowett’s 4-2-3-1 system.

Scott Carson- Carson is enjoying a great season with Derby, and is starting to restore his reputation that was damaged heavily by his England days. Carson has helped his side to 16 clean sheets this season and is a key part of one of the better defences in the league. His great form was rewarded with the Championship player of the month for December,  after conceding one goal in six games and helping his side to 16 points. Carson is another player who has experience of promotion from this league, and his clean sheets could prove the difference between another near miss, and the promised land of the top flight.