Noah Dougherty
Friday 09 August 2019

Forest Green Rovers get on the road for the first time this season as they travel to Walsall for the first meeting between the two sides.

Both teams opened the season with 1-0 victories and will be hoping for more of the same in matchday two.

What we said:

"The pleasing aspects (from last Saturday) were the opposition didn't have a shot on goal, we controlled the game without being spectacular in the first half, never really felt in any danger of losing the game and we had 68% possession, which gives you the chance to win," said Mark Cooper.

“Walsall have had a steady kind of team and a steady way of playing through pre-season for us to have a look at. They are a very difficult team to beat and it will be a very difficult game, but one we are looking forward to."

"I thought it was a great win (for Walsall) because Northampton Town are among lots of people's favourites to get promoted with the business they have done. They managed to get a 1-0 win and are a threat from set pieces, so we have to be on our toes."

What they said:

 “They’re a tough team Forest Green, they were thereabouts last year,” said Saddlers boss Darrell Clarke.

“They’re a well organised, possession-based team so it’s going to be a tough ask but every team in this division gives you different difficulties.

“They’ll have different strengths and different weaknesses and that’s been our working week working towards this next game.

 “We certainly want to get our home form kicking off, we got a good three points away from home last week, so we’ll try and get three points at home this week.”

Team news:

Forest Green Rovers:

Rovers will be without forward George Williams following his leg break just three minutes into the season opener. Despite successful surgery, the Welshman is set for five months on the side lines.

Carl Winchester looks likely to be fit with a possible return to the squad on the cards following an injury against Bath City in pre-season.

Liam Shephard is also on the mend but may need another week to return to fitness.


Striker Caolan Lavery joined Walsall on a free transfer from Sheffield United during the week could be an addition to the Saddlers bench.

Otherwise, Clarke is likely to go for a similar side to the one that started in their 1-0 win over Northampton last time out.

About: Walsall

In a very tight League One relegation battle, The Saddlers confirmed a spot in the fourth tier of English football on the final day of last season following a draw with Shrewsbury Town.

It’s been a busy summer for Darrell Clarke’s side, and with 15 signings through the door already, the Walsall boss has added some quality and depth to all aspects of his squad.

Signing players from several League One clubs as well four of last season’s League Two line-up, Tranmere, Northampton, Carlisle and Macclesfield, Walsall have made clear their intentions to bounce straight back up to League One at the first time of asking. A 1-0 opening day win over Northampton Town already setting the tone for the campaign.

Key Player: James Clarke

Club captain James Clarke joined Walsall at the end of last season after opting not to sign a new del at League One side Bristol Rovers.

The centre half, who has worked with manager Darrell Clarke at two previous clubs, is a powerful centre-back with the ability to find the net, having done so in last weekend’s victory.


The two sides have never met in competition, so Rovers fans will have a new ground to tick off as their side go in search of the first blood in the contest.


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

International viewers can also sign-up to our all new video streaming service.

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