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Match Previews

BIG MATCH PREVIEW: Forest Green Rovers come to Brunton Park

We take a closer look at this weekend's opponents

22 November 2018

United face Forest Green Rovers in their latest League Two fixture here at Brunton Park this weekend.

Reuben ReidRovers and United are locked together in mid-table as we head towards the end of the year with the visitors enjoying a much-improved season this time round.

Manager Mark Cooper has invested wisely, bringing in some very attack minded players, and they are most definitely a force to be reckoned with on their day.

Back-to-back league defeats in November have seen them drop out of the play-off places, undoing what had been an excellent October which had seen them lose just once in their six league outings.

They bowed out of the FA Cup on Tuesday evening following a home defeat at the hands of League One Oxford, so will be looking to bounce back when they head north this weekend.

It's no surprise to see veteran campaigner Reuben Reid leading the scoring charts for the club, with five to his name already, and he has an assist to add to that impressive tally as he continues to pose a threat in the final third whenever he takes to the pitch.

Keep an eye out for Christian Doidge and Dayle Grubb, who both have four strikes to their names, and Reece Brown is also having a good season with three goals and three assists in his favour.


Manager’s thoughts ...

John SheridanSpeaking ahead of the weekend game, manager John Sheridan said: "Mark [Cooper] has got his players playing well and they'll be looking to get their results back on track after what has been a good first few months of the season.

"We know the threats we'll face because they have good strikers who know where the goal is. The good thing is that we're going into the game with the confidence of what has been a decent run behind us.

"Last weekend was a demonstration of how comfortable things can become if you take your chances, and if we can develop that ruthless streak we'll be picking up points along the way.

"Obviously we sent our travelling fans home happy on Saturday, and we want to add to what we did against Newport and build on doing that at Brunton Park as well as we go forward from here. Points are the main thing because we want to be around the top seven and pushing on through what is another busy period."

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Did You Know?

+ In 1989 the club was renamed Stroud Football Club, but they reverted to their previous guise of Forest Green Rovers only a few years later.

+ Forest Green reached the final of the FA Trophy in 1999, making them the first side to reach the final of both the FA Trophy and the FA Vase.

Forest Green

+ Rovers actually finished in the Conference relegation zone in 2010, but were reprieved thanks to Salisbury City breaking financial rules.


Head to Head

The sides have met on just four occasions previously, with three victories going United's way, including both of last season's meetings.

December's away trip to the New Lawn brought an early Christmas present for the Blue Army as Richie Bennett headed home what turned out to be the winner just before the half hour.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

It was the same scoreline here at Brunton Park in January with the only goal of the game coming in almost the same minute. This time it was Jamie Devitt who found the back of the net when he arrived late to smash a volley into the bottom corner as the ball fell nicely at his feet.

Watch the highlights from that game here:


Man in the middle

Carl BoyesonOur referee for this game is Mr Carl Boyeson. Carl has taken charge of 16 games so far this season showing 64 yellow cards and one red.

We last met him for what turned into a thriller for all the wrong reasons when we made the trip to face Wycombe last February. A horrible first half saw the Blues go two goals behind as Matt Bloomfield and Luke O'Nien bagged quickfire goals either side of the half hour mark.

The tide changed at the start of the second half when O'Nien was sent off, and a penalty from Danny Grainger brought United right back into the game. Jamie Devitt and Cole Stockton turned the game on its head, and the visitors appeared to have secured the three points as the clock ticked in to time added on.

That was when the world fell apart for the Cumbrians as Marcus Bean and Paris Cowan-Hall pounced within seconds of each other to leave the away side pondering what might have been.

Referee - Carl Boyeson
Assistant Referee 1 - Chris Isherwood
Assistant Referee 2 - Richard Wild
Fourth Official - Rebecca Welch


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