Noah Dougherty
Friday 11 October 2019

Forest Green Rovers head to Exeter City tomorrow, as the two sides meet to battle it out for top spot.

Rovers took all three points when the teams last met at St. James’ Park as excellent goals from Reece Brown and Liam Shephard guided the Nailsworth side to  comfortable 2-1 win.

What we said:

“Exeter have had a great start to the season, but the league means nothing at the moment. It’s still settling down, but once you get to Christmas you can get a real gauge of where teams will finish,” said Mark Cooper.

“I say to the players that you are only as good as your last game. Right now, we’re good, but that can change in a heartbeat.”

“We know we’re going to be tested. We’ve got a lot of young players who keep stepping up to the bar, and let’s hope that continues.

What they said:

“It will be down to the players to create opportunities and to capitalise on those chances,” explained Exeter boss Matt Taylor.

“They (Forest Green) are a good team defensively, but we are not bad ourselves. I don’t think it will be a stalemate as such, I think there will be chances in the game. The key will be taking those chances when they come.

“It is another good game for us to look forward to, obviously being back at the Park is an added bonus and when you are challenging at the top of the table you want these fixtures to keep on coming. We want to keep on picking up points in these games as well. It is another test, but a different sort to Crewe last week, but one we have got to look forward to.”

Team news

Forest Green:

Dayle Grubb, Matt Mills and Kevin Dawson are expected to be absent through muscle injuries, while Liam Shephard could feature despite his early substitution against Coventry City in midweek.

Farrend Rawson returned to full training during the week and is likely to be fit to play.

Exeter City:

Former Rovers goalkeeper Lewis Ward suffered a broken arm in the Grecians game against Crewe Alexandra last weekend, which could mean that another former Rovers man, Jonny Maxted, is between the posts.

About: Exeter City

Exeter have been one of the consistent high-flyers in League Two over recent years, making the play-off final in both 2017/17 and the following season.

Last campaign saw them miss out on the play-offs altogether, a 0-0 draw at The New Lawn on final day not quite enough to take them over the dotted line.

With Matt Taylor embarking on his second season in charge at St. James’ Park, the Grecians got off to a fantastic start. As he last side to lose a game, Exeter have consistently occupied the top spot, until last Saturday when Rovers got their noses in front.

Key Player: Lee Martin

Having started life at Manchester United, energetic midfielder Lee Martin’s career path led him to Devon.

He signed for Exeter in July 2018 following his release from Gillingham. Martin has four goals so far this season.

Last time we met:

Forest Green Rovers earned back-to-back victories for the first time this season as they saw off Exeter City at St James Park.

A Reece Brown stunner early in the second half and Liam Shephard’s impressive drive with less 20 minutes to play was enough for FGR to claim all three points and end The Grecians’ five match winning run at home.

Exeter found the net with a freak goal deep into added time as Aaron Martin's long ball forward was mis-controlled by Sanchez and the ball rolled into the net.

The first chance of the game came after nine minutes as Jonathan Forte was played through by Jayden Stockley but a good save from Sanchez, along with the linesman’s flag, prevented the ball from finding the net.

Moments before the half-time whistle, some brilliant build-up lead to Brown sliding a ball through to Campbell but a brilliant challenge from Luke Croll stopped him getting the shot away.

Having found the net for the first time this season in midweek, Brown once again put his name on the scoresheet and this time it was even more special. Picking the ball up on the right of the area, Brown shifted his weight to the left before curling a sumptuous effort into the far top corner passed a helpless Hamon.

The game seemed to settle a little after the goal with neither side creating a clear chance of note for 20 minutes but with 72 minutes on the clock, Rovers doubled their lead. Picking the ball up on the right, Shephard had time to control the ball, drive forward and fire a powerful drive into the far, bottom corner from outside the area.

Deep into added time Exeter did find a goal as Sanchez tried to control Martin's over-hit ball through but mis-controlled the rolling ball and it trickled under his foot into the back of the net.


The head-head falls heavily towards the Devon side, Exeter having won eight games to Forest Green’s two. The sides have drawn eight of their meetings.

Last season was a better one for Rovers, winning one and drawing one of the meeting.


This game will be available to watch live if you live abroad by subscribing HERE or you can listen to the game with our audio service HERE both abroad or in the UK.

If watching on a mobile device, you will need to download the FGR TV app to be able to watch or listen to the match. A full list of frequently asked questions can be found HERE.

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Full commentary of Saturday’s match will also be available on BBC Radio Gloucestershire on 1413AM.

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

There will also be key updates and team news on Facebook. Round-up the clash by checking out the club website where there will be a full report looking back on the encounter.