Secure your seat for the game

Noah Dougherty
Friday 12 April 2019

Forest Green Rovers welcome 22nd-placed Macclesfield Town to The New Lawn on Saturday as the home side continue to push for promotion to League One.

With just five games to go and both teams with plenty to play for, it should be an exciting encounter.

Here is all you need to know ahead of the game: 

What we said: 

“They’re a team at the bottom of the league that are fighting for they lives. They’ve had a tough season, but they have managed to get their heads above it at the right time with a chance to stay up,” said FGR boss Mark Cooper.

“I went to the game [Macclesfield vs Exeter]. They could have been well behind I the first half, Exeter could have been out of sight and then Macclesfield had a right go in the second half at them and got the ball up to the massive centre-forward Harry Smith as quick as they could, and they played off him and caused Exeter some problems.

“Really exciting times. For fans, for players and for the staff. We could be sat in midtable now with nothing to play for or we could be scrapping at the bottom like last season, trying to get points to keep us in the Football League. But we’re not, we’re fighting at the top to try and get into League One.”

What they said: 

Sol Campbell Macclesfield manager

“As we’ve seen over the last couple of games, we can handle the guys at the top end of the table, and I’m not saying we’ll go there without any fear, but we’ll set ourselves up properly and we’ll compete,” said Macc boss Sol Campbell.

"That’s what it’s all about now, competing. Characters and making a good fist of it and that’s what we’ve got to do, grab all the points we can from now until the end of the season.”

Injury news: 

Forest Green Rovers: 

With the return of Lee Collins on Saturday, Mark Cooper will have a an almost full complement of players to choose from ahead of the game, although Paul Digby has been struggling with an ongoing ankle problem of late.

Macclesfield Town:

James Pearson suffered a knee injury during Macclesfield’s midweek victory over Exeter and will be doubtful for tomorrow’s game.

Golkeeper Rhys Taylor will also be unavailable alongside Jared Hodgkiss and the doubtful Jamie Grimes.

About: Macclesfield

The Silkmen’s late winner against play-off hopefuls Exeter City on Tuesday night sent their small but passionate fanbase into ecstasy and out of the bottom two for the first time since what seemed a lifetime ago. Although slightly fortunate to be on level terms at half time, a superb second half performance enhanced by a thrilling winner. breathed new life into their efforts to secure another season in the elite 92 clubs of English football.  The Silkmen are now two points clear of relegation rivals Notts County and Yeovil Town with five games to go!

Sol Campbell has proved a somewhat enigmatic character since his arrival at the Moss Rose, but the sheer delight that was shown in the pictures after our winning goal on Tuesday evening clearly demonstrated Sol’s commitment to the Silkmen cause which was refreshing to witness. The Silkmen’s visit to the New Lawn this coming Saturday will provide a very stern test for us against play off chasing Rovers where we have not exactly enjoyed the best of times; the exception being that amazing FA cup replay win back in 2001 and the dramatic late winner in the 93rd minute winner by Paul Lewis in 2013.

Even a point against Rovers his Saturday would be viewed as a huge stride towards safety. Subsequent games against teams with little to play for ,including home games against Newport County and Cambridge United at the Moss Rose on our last game of the season and away fixtures against the Cobblers of Northampton Town and Valliant’s of Port Vale in our penultimate game of the season; provides hope that we could indeed escape the drop to non- league obscurity from which even the most optimistic of the Silkmen faithful would expect us ever to escape from once again.

Key player: Scott Wilson 

Scott Wilson Macclesfield Town

Scott joined the Silkmen in the summer of 2017 and scored 14 goals as Macc won the National League title last season.

Starting his career at Bristol City, Scott went on to play for Bath City, Weston Super Mare, Gloucester and Paulson before getting his chance in the National League with a move to Eastleigh in the summer of 2016.

After a difficult spell with the Spitfires, Wilson was signed by John Askey in the summer of 2017 and after an impressive season, he signed a new two-year deal with Macc in June 2018 upon promotion back to the Football League.

Last time we met: 

Forest Green Rovers had to settle for a point against a resolute Macclesfield Town side at Moss Rose.

Substitute Dayle Grubb opened the scoring with 48 minutes on the clock but FGR were pegged back less than later through Scott Wilson's tidy finish.

With 20 minutes on the clock the visitors began to grow into the game, slowly getting into their rhythm and building up through the midfield. Reece Brown was able to have his side’s first effort of the afternoon, but his curving shot flew wide of Kieran O’Hara’s post.

Clearly looking to bounce back from their League Cup defeat in midweek, Macclesfield were still looking strong as the half-hour mark approached. Robert Sanchez was forced into a spectacular double save on 28 minutes as he denied Tyrone Marsh from close range although the offside flag had already been raised, saving the winger his blushes. 

George Williams was brought down a short way outside the box drove at the Silkmen’s defence with just two minutes of the second half gone and, with just his second touch of the ball, Dayle Grubb stepped up and curled and excellent free-kick over the Macclesfield wall and into the top left-hand corner.

The one-goal lead didn’t last long for the hosts though as just eight minutes later the Silkmen were back on terms.

Danny Whitaker picked the ball up in a deep area before playing an excellent ball into the path of Wilson who, despite calls for offside, raced through and calmly slotted past Sanchez.

Straight from the restart it was Forest Green who tried their luck again but Brown’s effort from inside the centre circle flew wide.

Hearts were in Forest Green mouths with only a few minutes of normal time to play as Wilson latched onto Liam Shephard's under-hit back-pass and although the referee pointed to the spot for Sanchez's challenge, after a discussion with his linesman, the man in the middle overturned his decision and booked Wilson for simulation.

Head-to-head:

Forest Green Rovers and Macclesfield Town have met on 15 occasions across the Conference, The Football League, The FA Cup and FA Trophy. In this particular pairing, it is FGR with history on their side having won six league meetings and an FA Cup encounter.

The recent fixtures favour Rovers as well, with four wins and a draw from the last five matches.

Coverage: 

Full commentary of the match will be available on BBC Radio Gloucestershire as well as through the club’s digital audio offering – FGR LIVE. 

Stay up to date on Twitter by following @FGRFC_Official, which will have all of the team news before kick-off and updates throughout the game.