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Club News

Scouting Report: Forest Green Rovers

19 September 2019

Get the lowdown on our upcoming opponents as we travel to Forest Green Rovers on Saturday 21st September 2019…

  • What we know about the opposition...

Rovers became the world’s first vegan run football club in 2015 after owner and green energy industrialist, Dale Vince introduced different eco-friendly solutions around the ground. Their stadium is 100% powered from solar panels and renewable energy, all food sold at The New Lawn is vegan and even t-shirts are made from Bamboo instead of plastic.

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Since Vince became majority shareholder in 2010, the 55-year-old local businessmen has pumped millions into the club and has helped oversee the most successful period in the club’s history. After winnig promotion from the National League in 2016, the Green Devils are now seen as serial contenders in Sky Bet League Two.

  • Latest Form…

Forest Green Rovers have got off to a good start to the season, winning 5, drawing 2 and losing 2 of their first 9 games. It is their defense that has carried the water though, currently with the joint-best defensive record in the league with just five goals conceded. More recently, Rovers haven't conceded a goal in their last 3 games, picking up 7 points.

In contrast to their defensive record, Forest Green have only scored 7 goals this season - a remarkably low total for a team that has picked up so many points.

  • Star Man…

Joseph Mills, who plays at left back, has become club’s top goalscorer and start man in the league with three goals and two assists. The 29-year-old has become a vital player with his goals that included a 93rd minute winner against Bradford City.

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Mills started his career at Southampton, in which he played just over 25 games for the club in the Championship and League One. He has gone onto play for Scunthorpe, Doncaster, Reading, Oldham and Perth Glory; now is into his second season at Forest Green.

  • The Gaffer…

Mark Cooper was appointed Manager after taking over from caretaker boss Scott Bartlett in 2016, after their defeat to Grimsby in the National League Play-Off Final. Cooper has gone onto be a huge success at the club after going one better than Bartlett the following year, victorious in a 3-1 win against Tranmere Rovers in 2017.

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The former midfielder did play for Forest Green in 2001/02, in which he was made club captain for the season and won Supporters’ Player of the Season. The 50-year-old went onto to play for many clubs, such as Birmingham City, Fulham, Exeter City and Leyton Orient, before finishing his career Kettering Town.

  • Journalist View, with Bobby Vincent of Gloucestershire Live…

How vital has the defence been for Forest Green Rovers this season with only five conceded?

“The defence has been the best part of Forest Green’s team this season. It’s been a mixture of three and four-at-the-back, with the former Liam Kitching (signed from Leeds in the summer) has been a great addition and he looks like one of Rovers’ most accomplished defenders already. Matt Mills has brought some valuable experience to a very young side. Farrend Rawson and Udoka Godwin-Malife have also impressed”.

What is the expectation this season?

“After the 2018/19 season when Tranmere beat FGR in the play-off semi-finals; the target has got to be something very similar. However, there’s a feeling around The New Lane that Forest Green may be targeting the automatic promotion spots this season, and with the way they’ve started this campaign, there’s no reason why they can’t be in around those places”.

What’s the team news going into the game?

“Liam Shephard could make his first start this season, which will be a huge boost to Rovers’ attacking style. Matt Mills has missed the past two games with a hamstring injury, and he could return, but he not expected to start”.

What kind of game do you expect on Saturday?

“Most of the games we’ve seen Forest Green play this season have been low-scoring. Rovers tend to have the majority of the ball in most games they play; especially at home. It will be interesting to see if Rovers can finally score more than one goal in a game this season”.

Prediction and scoreline?

“1-0 Forest Green. That’s the scoreline they’ve become used to this season”.

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