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Forest Green v Grimsby Preview

By: Alex Green
Date: 06/10/2010

IT’S amazing what a couple of wins do for everyone’s confidence a third would really cement our promotion possibilities. Town travel to Forest Green, a small club just off the A46 so that shouldn't be such a long trip...

Their History

Ok let’s get one thing straight to begin with, Forest Green is in Gloucestershire - Nailsworth to be precise about halfway between Bristol and Glister, so there you go. You now know where Forest Green is; it’s kind of a southwest version of Rushden and Diamond just with less money. The team most known for their creative adaption of the Barcelona badge, were formed in 1889 by a group of church goers in Glister, fortunately they weren't catholic so we can rule out that they may have just wanted to see young men in the showers. The club won the occasional local league in the 30’s and 50’s before moving up the pyramid slowly but surely. The team won the FA Vase in 1982 and after a brief flirtation of changing their name to Stroud, which was subsequently dropped in double time. The team finally reached the Conference in 1998 after back-to-back promotions. The club have stayed there since and have managed an 8th place finish as well as reaching the FA Trophy final twice and getting to the 3rd round of the FA Cup just last year. It shows a steady process for a small club who now play in a beautiful ground in a fantastic part of the country, lucky sods.

Last Season

Forest Green were actually relegated last season All they needed to do was beat Gray’s who were rock bottom by a long long way to avoid relegation, on the last day of the season and thus doom Gateshead to the Conference North or the Conference South, if the system is run by someone incompetent like the FA. Anyway a win would have been enough but on the 86th minute Gray’s took the lead to secure only their 5th win of the season and commit Forest Green to the even lower echelons. But wait here comes a hero! A hero of financial mismanagement, Salisbury City managed by ex mariner Tommy Widdrington had failed to pay up all unpaid debts by May and were subsequently demoted and saves Forest Green from relegation.

This Season

So far Forest Green have hardly taken up this second chance at redemption in quite the way they should have. The club lie 3 points off bottom with 2 wins all season and a troubling issue involving the defence away from home. Initially they started the season in a steady fashion, a 3-1 defeat away to Mansfield on the opening day aside, the team overcame Wrexham 3-0 and managed a 4-3 win at Hayes collecting 3 draws as well and only losing their second match to money bags Crawley 1-0 thanks to a dubious penalty. All in all a pretty solid start and by the 4th of September about the time we were kicking off against Luton, Forest Green were 13th and closer to the play-offs than relegation. A run of 5 straight defeats soon put an end to that and any aspiring hopes of a season of security were well and truly extinguished, so far anyway. Successive 3-0 defeats and further losses to Eastbourne, Kettering and Newport were a run, which saw the club crash to where they currently are 23rd. The run was ended as recently as Saturday with a strong performance away at AFC Wimbledon giving Rovers fans a glimmer of hope for the coming season.

Key Players. Michael Fowler

Cardiff born Fowler is the one of Fowler brothers in the Forest Green squad and is starting to establish himself as a key player in the Rovers season. Initially starting his career at Palace, Fowler failed to make an impact at Selhurst Park as a youngster and was shipped out to both Stevenage and Wrexham on loan during his tenure in South London. Woking then called on his service and after failing to make much of an impact there as well a string of non league clubs utilised his services as a hard working midfielder Newport, Gloucester, Merthyr Tydfil and most recently Salisbury have all had him on their books. At Salisbury Fowler start to get a reputation his performances were a highlight in a season where Salisbury found themselves mid-table and Fowler one of the highlights, where Forest Green quickly snapped him up in the summer of 2009. Unfortunately for Fowler he suffered a horrific injury in the final pre season match against Exeter dislocating his ankle, breaking it in 3 places and damaging his ligaments. After a lengthy recovery he finally made his debut for the club in the league in March the following year. Since then his career has flourished he has become a driving force for the clubs midfield. His man of the match performances this season alone have been a real highlight and with such a forward thinking midfielder the club will be hard pressed to keep him under control.


The Mariners will hope to put any doubts that they can't finish off the struggling opposition to bed, with a comfortable win. Though a 6-0 win would see The Mariners go 4th a solid performance and a narrow 1-0 win would suffice.

Forest Green 0-1 Grimsby


1 Kenny Arthur
2 Peter Bore
3 Lee Ridley
4 Mark Hudson
5 Darran Kempson
6 Scott Garner
7 Lewis Gobern
8 Michael Cummins
9 Charles Ademeno
10 Lee Peacock
11 Michael Coulson
13 Nick Colgan
14 Michael Leary
15 Dwayne Samuels
16 Steven Watt
17 Alan Connell
19 Bradley Wood
20 Josh Fuller
22 Mark Gray
24 Nathan Dixon
25 Robert Atkinson
28 Andrew Wright 29 Robert Eagle
38 Richard O'Donnell
40 Rob Peet

Forest Green Rovers

1 GK James Bittner
2 DF Jared Hodgkiss
3 MF Scott Bartlett
4 MF Ian Herring
5 DF Luke Jones
6 DF Craig Armstrong
7 MF Lee Smith (on loan at Gloucester City)
8 MF Mike Fowler
9 FW Reece Styche
10 FW Ross Dyer
11 MF Steve Davies (on loan at Gloucester City)
12 MF Ollie Cleaver
14 MF James Baldwin
15 DF Callum Henry (on loan at Cirencester Town)
16 MF Lee Fowler
17 MF Jon Else
18 FW James Norwood (on loan from Exeter City)
19 MF Yan Klukowski
20 DF Gavin Caines
21 GK Zak Jones
22 DF Jamie Grimes (on loan from Swansea City)
23 DF Curtis McDonald
24 MF Ben Gill
25 FW Ben Watson (on loan from Exeter City)
?? MF Chris Flood (on loan from Crawley Town)

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