Noah Dougherty
Friday 06 July 2018

Forest Green Rovers opened their pre-season campaign with a comfortable victory over Brimscombe and Thrupp at The Meadow this evening.

A brace from Reuben Reid, including an excellent curled finish inside the first 10 minutes, was enough to see FGR cruise to a well-deserved victory over their neighbours.

Mark Cooper chose to start the game with a new-look FGR side which featured five of the new summer signings including James Montgomery in goal and Liam Shephard and Joseph Mills filling the full-back spots.

Forest Green started the brighter of the two sides and, with evening sun beating down behind them, soon had the hosts on the back foot.

Reid always looks a threat going forward for FGR and this game was no exception. With just seven minutes on the clock he opened the scoring, picking the ball up on the edge of the area before turning back inside onto his left foot and lofting an unstoppable effort into the far top corner.

The hosts looked to find a route back into the game but FGR continued to look the more dominant of the two sides, with Reid almost setting up George Williams before the Lilywhites’ defender was able to make a full recovery.

With 13 minutes on the clock, Montgomery was called into action for the first time in an FGR shirt as his backline were caught out and Brimscombe were able to race through with a two-on-one. Rovers’ new keeper was quick off his line and able to quell the danger with a good stop.

Midway through the first half, Rovers’ lead was doubled and once again Reid was the man on target as he was played through by Carl Winchester from midfield and as FGR fans have come to expect, the striker slotted home past the Lilywhites’ keeper.

FGR started the second period with an almost entirely different XI but that didn’t keep them from staying on the front foot. Scott Laird, one of the half-time changes, soon found himself through on goal but couldn’t keep his effort down and fired over.

With the hour mark in sight, Forest Green again tried to increase their lead as Theo Archibald tried his luck from range but the Brimscombe stopper was equal to his effort and was able to parry behind for a corner.

The hosts went as close as they would go to grabbing a goal after 85 minutes as they fired a free-kick goalwards but couldn’t get the better of Lewis Thomas in goal.

Although FGR continued to dominate in the game’s final minutes they couldn’t fashion another clear chance but instead played out the remainder of what was a comfortable victory.

FGR STARTING XI: James Montgomery, Liam Shephard, Farrend Rawson, Carl Winchester, Dayle Grubb, George Williams, Jordan Simpson, Gavin Gunning, Joseph Mills, Reuben Reid, Triallist

FGR SECOND HALF XI: Lewis Thomas, Scott Laird, Lloyd James, Reece Brown, Jordan Simpson, Isaac Pearce, Theo Archibald, Haydn Hollis, Will Davidson, Dan Ogunleye, Triallist (Lewis Spurrier)

Images: Shane Healey / Pro Sport