12:00am, Fri 10th Apr 2009
FOREST GREEN ROVERS v WOKING
3pm on Saturday 11 April 2009
The Cards travel to the New Lawn on Saturday desperately seeking three points in a bid to escape relegation after 17 years in the Conference. With fewer points and more games played than the other clubs also in the mire, the Cards must now be considered prime candidates for the drop but there are still 12 points to play for and even a couple of wins could make a huge difference, not least since Weymouth lie only two points above Woking in the table and seem unlikely to pick up many (if any) more points themselves.
Colin Miles is still suspended but Danny Knowles will no doubt have recovered from the stomach bug which forced him out of the disappointing 2-0 defeat at Northwich on Tuesday evening. The Woking defence will need to show greater resilience than they did at the Victoria Stadium if they are to stop Rovers? free-scoring Andy Mangan from adding to his tally of 21 league goals this season. What Woking would give for a striker who could put the ball in the net with even half that frequency! Graham Baker, having recalled the outcast Manny Williams from his loan spell at Weston-super-Mare, may gamble on throwing him into the starting line-up in place of Kelvin Bossman, who so far has failed to make any impact. He will also have the option of starting with Alex Rhodes, who came on as a substitute at Northwich.
FOREST GREEN ROVERS
It?s a bit of a mystery what Jim Harvey?s side are doing down at the wrong end of the table. Earlier on this season they looked as though they were missing Stuart Fleetwood?s goals from the last campaign but Mangan has stepped into his shoes. The real problem has been leaking goals. Rovers have conceded a massive 38 goals at home: more than any other side except Lewes and Weymouth. Ebbsfleet notched four at the New Lawn, and Stevenage, Wrexham, Altrincham, Burton and Oxford all netted three. At home Rovers have won 6, drawn 6 and lost 9.
Rovers have 48 points from 41 games and are probably just about safe from relegation but will no doubt be going out for a win to make their BSP place absolutely secure.
Their recent league form has been:
7 April: Forest Green Rovers 2 Kidderminster Harriers 2
4 April: Cambridge United 0 Forest Green Rovers 1
28 March: Forest Green Rovers 4 Lewes 1
21 March: Altrincham 2 Forest Green Rovers 5
17 March: Forest Green Rovers 1 York City 1
14 March: Mansfield Town 3 Forest Green Rovers 0
On Thursday evening Rovers lost on penalties to Telford in the final of the Setanta Shield. (Unfortunately, there was no extra time!)
In addition to Mangan (who?s just been charged by the FA with breaching betting rules whilst at Accrington Stanley) the Cards will need to keep an eye on fellow striker Conal Platt, the experienced David Brown and midfielder Kaid Mohamed, whose wonder strike gained all three points for Rovers in the game at Kingfield.
Our recent record against Forest Green has been disappointing. A home draw under Frank Gray was followed up with a 2-1 defeat despite a battling performance towards the end of last season. Most recently in August this season, Kim Grant?s calamitous start as manager continued with a poor 1-0 home defeat, the fourth loss in succession.
Woking 1-1 Forest Green Rovers
Forest Green Rovers 2-1 Woking
Woking 0-1 Forest Green Rovers
Tel: 01453 834860
Leaves Kingfield 11.30am. ?15 for members. ?20 for non-members. Take a chance and just turn up.
Leave M5 at J14, s/p B4509. Follow B4509 towards Wotton-under-Edge, turning left onto B4058. Follow this road through Wotton, then follow signs for Nailsworth. On meeting A4135, turn right, then left very shortly afterwards, remaining on B4058. On reaching Nailsworth, turn left at mini-roundabout in centre of town, up Spring Hill. Continue along this road, which becomes Nympsfield Road, for approx 900 yards. The ground is on the left-hand side at the new roundabout.
The nearest station is Stroud, some four miles from the ground. There is a service every hour on :16, with changes at Basingstoke and Reading. The 11.16 from Woking gets you to Stroud at 13.14.
It?s at least four miles from Stroud town centre. By taxi: Around ?6-?7, journey time 10-15 mins. Bus 93 runs from Stroud Bus Station (5 minutes? walk from the railway station, through the Merrywalks shopping centre) to Nailsworth and Forest Green at 30 minute intervals. Call Stagecoach on (01453) 763 421 for further information.
Come on, you Cards!
P.S. Don?t forget that the Cards are at home to play-off chasing Oxford United at 3pm on Easter Monday. The U?s will no doubt be bringing a big following, so it should be a lively affair. Don?t miss it!