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Match Previews

Forest Green Preview

Andy Phillips previews Saturday's Sky Bet League Two fixture.

7 December 2017

Michael White
Russell Slade

TOWN host recent foes Forest Green Rovers on Saturday afternoon (3pm) looking for their third league win on the bounce.


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The Mariners go into the game in good form, with the 3-2 win over Swindon Town followed by the 2-0 win at Barnet resulting in Town being only 3 points off the play-off places and showing what Russell Slade's men are capable of on their day.

They will be looking to continue that with victory against a side that have had an inconsistent start to the campaign. Rovers had a poor start to the season, being in the relegation zone until October. However, they had an upturn in form after that and currently lie in 20th place in their first season in the EFL.

With it also being their first game against the Mariners since defeat in the 2016 National League play-off final, they will certainly be up for it and provide another test for Town.

Town near full strength

Town hope to be at full strength for the clash and are currently waiting to see how a couple of players have reacted to training, with one being James Berrett, who trained on Tuesday and Slade hopes to have available for Saturdays game.

Other than that, the Town boss will be hoping Jamille Matt and Sam Jones can continue their good form up front in the side, after they scored one each in the victory at Barnet a fortnight ago.

Forest Green looking to consolidate

Forest Green were promoted at the end of last season, beating Tranmere Rovers 3-1 in the 2017 National League play-off final. They will be eager to make sure that they stay in the division after their long-awaited promotion to the EFL and will want to make it a season of celebration.

Former Peterborough, Darlington and Swindon manager Mark Cooper was named Adie Pennock’s replacement at the end of the 2015/16 season, however didn’t formerly take charge until the following season.

Cooper watched the play-off final 18 months ago from the dugout as Town returned to the Football League. and after leading the team to promotion last term, he will be hoping to consolidate their place in the league this campaign.

The Villagers will want to continue their good recent away form, having only losing one of their last six away games, and they will be hoping to start putting together some momentum to push them up the table and away from the relegation zone.

In striker Christian Doidge, the side have a player that is proving to be able to step up to this level, having already scored 15 goals to add to the 27 he got last season to help them gain promotion. Town fans will also be familiar with Keanu Marsh-Brown, who scored Forest Green's goal in our Promotion Final victory in 2016.

Previous six results: WLDWLL

Managers in summary   

Russell Slade: ‘We're at home which I think is good and it’s not going to be easy because Forest Green are in great form - top six form at the minute. They’ve picked up incredibly well in recent weeks so we know it’s going to be a tough game. We need everybody behind us and need to pull together because if we can win on Saturday then we’re within touching distance. They’ve got a capable target man (Doidge) who seems to have got crucial goals in recent weeks that’s gotten them away from the bottom of the table. They’re a little bit unpredictable in what they may play but it’s about how we prepare, what we do and make sure that we make our impression on the game from the first minute.’

The Last Time

National League Play-off Final

Grimsby Town 3-1 Forest Green Rovers

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