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Match Previews

Forest Green (A) Match Preview

11 January 2024

Match Previews

Forest Green (A) Match Preview

11 January 2024

After another Yorkshire derby success last weekend with victory over Doncaster Rovers, Town make the long trip this weekend when they travel to Forest Green.

And they do so knowing that the recent run of form has put them within striking distance of the playoff positions, with Simon Weaver’s side now sitting just two points off seventh-placed AFC Wimbledon.

Our opponents

After finishing 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.

Hopes of a return to League One quickly diminished and they have found themselves in the thick of a scrap as they bid to avoid successive relegations. Coming into the game they are second bottom, but level on 18 points with Sutton United, six points from safety.

They are without a win in the league now though stretching nine games back to late October, although they have registered back to back draws under new boss Troy Deeney.

Previous meetings

Earlier this season Rovers grabbed all three points at The Envirovent Stadium thanks to Matt Stevens’s strike early in the second half.

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

Troy Deeney has been in charge at the club for just under a month following the departure of David Horseman in mid-December. It is Deeney’s first managerial role.

Deeney had been brought in as a player a couple of weeks into the season after leaving Birmingham City, where he had spent two seasons after moving from Watford where he had move over 400 appearances and scored 140 goals.

Ones to watch

Matt Stevens tops the scoring charts with eight goals after returning to the club this season from a loan spell at Walsall.

It has been a struggle elsewhere for goals with those closest to Stevens being Deeney himself, who has now stepped into the dugout, and Callum Morton who returned to Salford City at the start of the transfer window.

Scot Kyle McAllister does have three goals and five assists from midfield, being a virtual ever present this season. He will be partnered in midfield by former Rangers and Manchester United youngster Charlie McCann.

The club are captained by Dom Bernard and he will likely line-up in defence alongside Jamie Robson although they will be missing Ryan Inniss following his red card last week.

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

Town continue to be without Mark OxleyJonathan MitchellToby Sims and Rod McDonald but have Stephen Dooley back available after the midfielder successfully returned in our win over Doncaster.

Sam Folarin will face a late fitness test having been withdrawn with a hamstring injury last weekend.


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