Noah Dougherty
Sunday 05 August 2018

Forest Green Rovers striker Christian Doidge will be targeting more positive results after a belief-filled fight back against Grimsby Town on the opening day of the season.

The forward, who has been FGR’s top scorer in the past two seasons, scored Forest Green’s third and fourth goals of the afternoon and stated that, “It was good to come out second half and put on a really good performance and we were pushing all first half to do that.”

“This is a really hard place to come and pick up the three points and we went 1-0 behind but at half time we had this belief in the dressing room that we were going to pull through,” said Doidge.

“It was extremely disappointing to go a goal down but I still had a belief that we were going to go on and win the game but it was completely different to last season because everyone had that belief and kept their heads up in the second half and our performance showed that.

“At the end of the day there’s going to be a lot of times this season that we’re going to go a goal behind and it’s about regrouping and going again.”

The 25-year-old also talked about his frustration in the first half with the chances not falling to him but suggested that the belief in the dressing was what helped his side to victory.

“I’m really happy because nothing seemed to be dropping for me today especially in the first half so I had a few shots out of frustration which were a bit ridiculous but I’ve been lucky that two fell to me today,” he said.

“I think some of the older heads in the team really calmed us down and you need leaders all over the pitch and I feel like we have that now.

“When we went a goal down there were a few words round the pitch and everyone was calm, we regroup and came out for the second half to win the game.”


Carl Winchester handed Forest Green the lead early on in the second half and Doidge was insistent that the timing of the goal was crucial.

“The timing of Winchester’s goal was perfect for us as it gave us time to go and get another because it was quite early in the second half,” he stated.

“The second goal in the game is always massive because when you’re 1-0 up and the other team scores it really takes the wind out of you and his work ethic today was second to none and it’s great to play with someone who’s always running around with you.”

Forest Green then took the lead with what would eventually be the winner in extraordinary fashion as Grimsby centre back James Collins passed the ball into his own net after a mix-up with James McKeown but Doidge was confident that Rovers earned their own luck.

“I spoke to Collins about the own goal and it’s a difficult one for him and he was saying that the goalkeeper shirt is the same colour as some of the seats at the back of the stand and when I was out there I could see where he was coming from but it’s a bit unfortunate.”

“You only get Lady Luck from hard work and I think you only get it from playing well. You don’t get any luck from playing badly and I think that showed today with our performance, we were good, and the luckier you are the more successful you’ll be.”

“We had a few of them last season and I’m sure there’ll be a few more where we give the opposition a goal but I think our reaction to get another one was good. I think there were a lot of times last season when we’d go a goal up and then sit back and try to get another goal but that shows we need to attack more to finish teams off.”

Having crowned the day with his brace, the Rovers number 9 is now the club’s joint record goal scorer of all time and is already planning to add to more to this season tally.

“The first and second goals of the season are probably the most important and they really kick you on and I’m really happy,” he explained.

“Scott Lindsey’s been banging on about the set plays and I’ve told Lloyd James before to stick them at the back post and he’s put it on a plate for me. The second one’s a bit unfortunate for them again because it wasn’t going for them in the second half but luckily it fell to me and I put it away.”

Forest Green's first home league game of the season will be against Oldham Athletic on Saturday, August 11. Get your tickets here.