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Match Previews

Match Preview - Forest Green Rovers (H)

10 August 2023

Match Previews

Match Preview - Forest Green Rovers (H)

10 August 2023

Fresh from midweek cup triumph Town will go in search of a third successive win to start the 2023/24 season when Forest Green Rovers visit the Envirovent Stadium this Saturday.

The 1-0 win against Carlisle, rewarded with a home tie against Championship side Blackburn Rovers in round two, came on the back of the opening day victory by the same scoreline at Doncaster Rovers a week ago.

FIXTURE INFORMATION

And with fixtures coming thick and fast there is the opportunity for Simon Weaver’s side to lay down an early marker over the coming weeks.

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Our opponents

After storming to promotion as champions of League Two in 2021/22 Rovers suffered an immediate relegation after losing key figures such as Kane Wilson and Nicky Cadden as well as manager Rob Edwards, who went on to guide Luton Town to the Premier League.

They finished bottom of the table, amassing 27 points and winning six league fixtures.

Hopes of an immediate return to the third tier got off to a bad start when they were defeated 2-0 at home to Salford last weekend, although they put in a creditable display in their Carabao Cup exit to Portsmouth in midweek.

Previous meetings

In 2020/21 a Jamille Matt goal on the hour mark was enough to earn Forest Green a 1-0 win at The Envirovent Stadium before goals from Chris Stokes and Kane Wilson secured a 2-1 victory at The New Lawn.

The following season saw Town defeated 4-1 at home, with a Lloyd Kerry effort a consolation after strikes from Jack Aitchison, Nicky Cadden, Jamille Matt and Matt Stevens. They did grab an end of season victory on the road though with Kerry again on the scoresheet in a 3-1 victory.

The man in charge

David Horseman was recently appointed to the job, following the eve of season departure of Duncan Ferguson and a caretaker spell from Hannah Dingley.

Horseman initially had coaching spells as Bristol City and Watford before joining Southampton where he held a number of roles including guiding the Saints to the Premier League 2 Division 2 title.

Ones to watch

It is a much-changed Rovers squad from the one that last faced Town with 11 new arrivals this summer alone, including Marcel Lavinier, Darnell Johnson, Jacob Maddox and Alfie Bendle who all arrived on permanent deals over the past week and Dylan Kadji who joined on loan from Bristol City.

A key presence in midfield will be Charlie McCann, who arrived from Rangers this summer after previously being at Manchester United.

Matt Stevens is back leading the line after spending the second-half of last season on loan at Walsall, likely alongside Tyrese Omotoye. Dom Bernard was named the new captain this summer, and he will feature at the back along with Jordan Moore-Taylor.

History

A non-league club for virtually all of their existence since being founded in 1889, fortunes were turned around following investment from Dale Vince and after near misses in 2015 and 2016, the club earned promotion to the Football League in 2017.

They reached the League Two playoffs in both the 2018/19 and 2020/21 seasons, being defeated at the semi-final stage on both occasions before securing a first promotion to the third tier in 2021/22, before dropping back to League Two at the first attempt.

Team news

Long-term absentee Stephen Dooley is unavailable for Simon Weaver and there will be a check on Rod McDonald, who missed the midweek win after an eye injury at Doncaster.


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