Noah Dougherty
Thursday 18 April 2019

Forest Green Rovers head to Prenton Park for a crucial Good Friday clash with Tranmere Rovers.

With just four games to go and the two sides occupying adjacent play-off spots, it should be an exciting encounter.

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

What we said: 

Mark Cooper thanks the South Stand after Macclesfield at home

“It’s important to be calm. It’s important we just keep picking points up and getting as many as we can. Every team up and around it, that will be their aim,” said FGR boss Mark Cooper.

"We try and be realistic and our fist aim is to try and secure a play-off spot and to do that, we need to go and perform well at Tranmere Rovers on Friday.

" I think Tranmere Rovers have done fantastic, the run they went on to get them in this position was incredible. They have some solid players, the manager has done a fantastic job two seasons running and James Norwood is a striker I'm sure every club would be desperate for.

"It will be a brilliant atmosphere, it always is with that big kop behind the goal always getting behind their team and we have to deal with that. We wanted to be in the League to play occasions like this with 9 or 10,000 there, it will be fantastic."

What they said: 

Micky Mellon Tranmere manager

“I kept saying from day one that there’s never been an easy game regardless of who we are playing against so tomorrow will be no different but two teams battling it out for the main prizes so it will be very difficult,” said Tranmere manager Micky Mellon.

“We need to make sure we go out there and get ourselves in the right place to go and represent this Football Club properly.

“Right at the start of the season we wanted to continue to try and bring football that was looking like it was going to be successful to the Football Club, so we have worked very hard to try and do that, but we are where we are at the minute.”

Injury news: 

Forest Green Rovers: 

There are no fresh injury concerns for Rovers ahead of their trip to Prenton Park.

Tranmere Rovers:

Former FGR man James Norwood is nursing an injury ahead of the match so his starting place is in jeopardy. Midfielder David Perkins will miss out following an injury he sustained during last week's win vs MK Dons.

Ishmael Miller and Luke McCullough are also unavailable as long-term absentees. 

About: Tranmere

Following their promotion from the National League last season, Tranmere have exploded back onto the Football League scene and currently sit fifth in the table with 20 wins under their belts to date.

Having been relegated in 2015 after 94 consecutive seasons in the Football League, The Super White Army made clear their intention to re-establish themselves back into the League and categorically stated that dropping back to non-league for a second time would be ‘unthinkable’.

Although life back in League Two didn’t start perfectly for Micky Mellon’s men, losing one and drawing two of their opening four games, Rovers have built momentum and racked up some impressive results over the course of the season.

With a solid defensive record and the league’s leading scorer in the form of James Norwood, consistency has been the name of the game for the Birkenhead side this campaign, their longest winless streak being just three games.

Coming into the game off the back of a crucial 2-1 home win over MK Dons last time out, Rovers are in good form. Only recently seeing a run of seven consecutive victories come to an end with a defeat at Oldham Athletic.

Key Player: James Norwood

James Norwood Tranmere Rovers

Fans’ favourite and League Two’s player of the season James Norwood has netted 27 times for Tranmere already this campaign to cap off his first season at the level. Having scored the goal that took Rovers back to the Football League, Norwood started life in the division by snapping up the player of the month award for August.

The former FGR man, who up until last season was The Green Devils’ top scorer on record, is known for his ability on the ball and his keen eye for goal.

Last time we met: 

Forest Green Rovers produced an excellent performance to power past Tranmere Rovers at The New Lawn.

From a Tranmere corner the ball was half cleared to Tahvon Campbell whose flicked header found Reece Brown deep inside his own half with 11 minutes on the clock. Now, with the ball at his feet, the young midfielder only had one thought in his mind and, driving forward, the Tranmere defence opened up allowing him to power forward and slot past Scott Davies from the edge of the area with aplomb.

Forest Green ended the half as well as they had begun it and six minutes before the break Brown’s unbelievable diagonal through-ball set Campbell and Steve McNulty into a foot-race in which there would only be one winner.

As the Forest Green forward nipped in front of the big centre-back the latter lunged into a clumsy challenge bringing Campbell crashing to the floor inside the area, the referee pointed to the spot.

Captain Gunning stepped up with a chance to double FGR’s lead and although Davies was able to save his spot kick, Shephard calmly finished the rebound on an angle.

Forest Green finished the game as strongly as they had performed throughout the encounter, but it was Tranmere who found the net inside the last five minutes.

Substitute Mullin was played down the left before firing passed Montgomery was unlucky to see his attempted save roll into the bottom corner.

Seven minutes into the originally shown six added minutes, Campbell picked the ball up on the left before darting inside and firing into the top corner with his weak foot.

Head-to-head:

The head-to-head with Tranmere Rovers will make pleasant reading for FGR fans, the whites having one just one of the six meeting between the two sides.

During the 2016/17 season, the year which saw FGR promoted to the Football League for the first time in their history, the two sides met three times.

It was a stalemate the first time around as a James Norwood strike saw the game finish 2-2 at The New Lawn before Forest Green snatched a late victory in the return fixture.

Both sets of fans will of course remember the final at Wembley as a Kaiyne Woolery brace and a brilliant Christian Doidge strike saw Rovers emerge victorious.

The most recent meeting between the pair saw FGR claim another 3-1 victory as the earned their third consecutive victory over Tranmere.

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.