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Match Previews

BIG MATCH PREVIEW: Forest Green next up for the Blues

United at the New Lawn this weekend

14 March 2019

United head to the New Lawn on Saturday as they go face-to-face with fellow promotion hopefuls Forest Green.

Christian DoidgeRovers have proved to be a difficult team to beat this season, but a hefty haul of 12 draws has kept them hovering around the play-off spots rather than allowing them to firmly claim a spot.

The lead up to Tuesday night's trip to Colchester had seen them lose five of their last six outings, and they started this month with demoralising back-to-back defeats against Lincoln and Morecambe.

They put that right on their trip into Essex with a convincing away victory against the U's which catapulted them into sixth spot as they overtook Exeter, their midweek hosts and ourselves. 

Goals have come from all over the pitch this season, with Christian Doidge (9), Reece Brown (7), Reuben Reid (7) and George Williams (6) the main threats, and they've kept things tight defensively with just 38 goals conceded in their 37 league games. 

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Manager’s thoughts ...

Steven PressleySpeaking ahead of the weekend game, manager Steven Pressley said: "These games against teams who are close to us in the table are massive, particularly when we know we now have just nine games to go.

"As we've seen, every game in this division is tough, and this will be no different. We have to show ourselves and, most importantly, our fans that we can bounce back from the type of disappointment we felt on Tuesday night.

"There's no doubt that if we don't show the right type of character, and if we don't approach games with the correct mindset, then we will not achieve what we have all worked so hard to achieve.

"Forest Green are beside us in the table because overall they've done things properly. We are where we are for the same reasons. We now have to get back to the basics of football and make sure we compete and play the way I know we can play so that we can continue to push for a place in the top seven. How high that will be is going to be dictated by how well we do in these remaining fixtures."

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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.

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Head to Head

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

  Carlisle wins Draws Forest Green wins
League 3 0 2
Total 3 0 2

But it was Rovers who took the honours when they came north in November with goals from Ben Morris and Carl Winchester giving them a two-goal cushion. A late penalty from Jamie Devitt gave the Blues some hope, but the away side held out to take all three points.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

The December 2017 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 2018 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:

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Man in the middle

Graham SalisburyOur referee for this game is Mr Graham Salisbury. Graham has taken charge of 29 games this season and has shown 106 yellow cards and three reds.

We last had him as the man in the middle for our 4-0 away victory at Swindon just before Christmas. Ashley Nadesan, Regan Slater (2) and Jamie Devitt scored our goals and there were no United names taken on the day.

The first time we saw him this season was on the opening day when we made the long trip south to face Exeter City. Nicky Law and Jonathan Forte put the Grecians two goals to the good with less than 30 minutes played, but Richie Bennett gave the Blues hope when he struck back just before the break. United battled away, but a late sucker punch from Tristan Abrahams kept the points in Exeter. Jamie Devitt was the only name taken on the day.

A regular referee of our games over the years [including the Wembley final against Southampton in 2010] still one of his busiest evenings with us was for the Checkatrade Trophy group game at Fleetwood last season. A total of 10 cards were shown - including a red for Harvey Rodgers - with Danny Grainger, Mark Ellis, Jamie Devitt, Gary Liddle, Tom Miller and Hallam Hope going in the book for the Blues.

Referee - Graham Salisbury
Assistant Referee 1 - Simon Shaw
Assistant Referee 2 - Ollie Williams
Fourth Official - Paul Hobday

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Ticket information

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