Forest Green Rovers are back at The New Lawn this Saturday when we welcome Stevenage to Gloucestershire.
The teams have had differing starts to the 2019/20 campaign with FGR sitting joint second in the table, while Stevenage are yet to pick up a win.
Get filled in on all you need to know ahead of the League Two clash here…
What we said:
“You’ve got to try to win your home games and pick up points on the road. I thought we did enough to win the other night, we played well with the ball but couldn’t find the finish,” said manager Mark Cooper.
“Stevenage have always been direct, robust and aggressive. Whether that changes under the new management, I’m not certain, so we’ll have to wait and see”
What they said:
“The spirit within this group is outstanding. They care so much about getting results and making our supporters proud, so they’re devastated at the moment,” said caretaker manager Mark Sampson.
“We need to be ready for a tough challenge away at Forest Green. We’ll prepare as well as we can and turn up there with a real emotional energy and fight for the three points.
“Forest Green are a very good team for this level, we know they’re flexible and we know they’re adaptable and we know they’ve got a very clear methodology and philosophy of play.”
Forest Green Rovers:
Full-back Liam Shephard is in contention for a starting spot for Saturday’s game having come through substitute appearances against Colchester and Carlisle without any recurrence of his knee injury.
Aaron Collins is also on the return from a knock picked up in training having travelled with the squad to Carlisle, while Kevin Dawson could return from a calf injury.
Former FGR man Paul Digby is out with a long-term bone injury, while Joel Byrom, Ben Nugent, Terence Vancooten, Emmanuel Sonupe, Dean Parrett and Tom Soares make up the rest of Stevenage’s mounting injury list.
It was a successful campaign for Stevenage in 2018/19, and six wins from their last seven in League Two took a late play-off push to the final day, but Colchester United’s 3-0 win over already-crowned champions Lincoln City meant they would have to settle for 10th place, albeit just one point off the elusive top seven.
With many expecting Stevenage, adorned with their new club crest, to kick on from April and May’s success, it’s come as a surprise that the Boro are yet to reach anywhere near the heights of form that served them so well throughout last campaign.
Just three draws - and no wins - from their opening seven games saw Maamria relieved of his role at the club after over a year at the helm.
Former-England Women’s manager Mark Sampson was given the role as interim boss on Monday, September 9, but tasted defeat in his first game in charge as Carlisle United scored late to win 3-2 at the Lamex Stadium.
Key Player: Kurtis Guthrie
Pacey striker Kurtis Guthrie has always had a keen eye for goal, and is a familiar face to The New Lawn faithful, notching 19 during his time at Forest Green Rovers and 13 while playing for Colchester United before joining Boro.
He has started this season well and has three goals to his name already as he looks to be the catalyst to turning around Boro’s early form.
Last time we met:
Another impressive Forest Green Rovers display saw them complete a 2-0 win over Stevenage at The Lamex Stadium last season.
Goals from Liam Shephard and Christian Doidge were enough for Rovers as they continued their impressive track record on the road where they were unbeaten since November 3.
In the game’s 13th minute, Forest Green took a deserved lead. Gunning’s quick free-kick found Mills on the left and his ball into Williams allowed the striker to take the ball around the outside of the six-yard box before cutting a cross back to Shephard who slid home his fourth goal of the season.
With 55 minutes on the clock though, FGR doubled their lead. Brown flicked a deft ball into the area for Williams to chase and although Farman make a great save to deny his initial shot, Doidge was on hand to nod the rebound into an unguarded net.
The two sides have met a total of 31 times in all competitions. Despite Stevenage having failed to record victory over Mark Cooper’s side in League Two, FGR picking up three wins from the four encounters, Stevenage still edge the stats with 13 wins to their name.
Three of those victories came in cup competitions while FGR’s seven wins have all come in the league.
The last victory for Stevenage came with a 2-0 home win back in 2010 in the Blue Square premier.
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.