Green Light: Our resident expert talks Forest Green

Former Gloucestershire cricket chairman and FGR fan John Light has his say on Rovers

Former Gloucestershire cricket chairman and FGR fan John Light has his say on Rovers

First published in Sport by

DAVID Hockaday declared himself less than 50% satisfied after the 3-1 win over Hyde. Perhaps he was harsh but I knew what he meant.

After a magnificent start and establishing a 2-0 lead a large slice of complacency set in. Hyde came back into the game and until James Norwood’s late assist; the result was in doubt.

For those not there (far too many) I must explain this trick. The fourth official indicates four minutes remaining and Nors gets ready to receive the ball down either touchline, when he gets it defenders are left in his wake and a waiting forward, this time Ben Wright, receives an immaculate pass. Scoring is a formality.

It looked like that being the case all game on Saturday. Would we see a cricket score? Starting well, moving the ball at pace Rovers were rampant. Attacking down either wing and through the middle they more than justified their high league position. Then everything changed and the game could have been lost.

This was a lesson for all concerned. Relaxation is not an option. Concentration must be maintained throughout the game. This may be something the team need to learn. Certainly Saturday was an important lesson.

We had seen the team starting so well. Hockaday watchers will know his most used words are ‘tempo’ and ‘simple’ and the way the team started reflected that advice. The Reece Styche headed goal showed exactly that. A swift pass to Norwood, a fine cross swiftly made and Reece scored one of his best-headed goals. A marvellous moment!

A fierce Turley volley surely from a practised corner routine was spectacular and we sat back to watch a rout. Trouble was the team sat back as well. A better side than Hyde would have grabbed control.

Nonetheless, overall it was a good open game, full of incident, including the booking of two players for diving. Good! This needs to be eradicated from the game. Problem was I think the ref only got one of his two yellow cards right.

The media mistakenly thought they had to award man of the match and with Bob Hunt as chairman there was much discussion. Turley and Asafu got votes and my choice was our effervescent winger – you know who I mean. Thankfully we were allowed to leave the task to the sponsors.

Two weeks ago I asked for comments about the new flag. Some cannot understand it, as they can read only part of it and most comments to me are not in favour. One reader emailed to that effect.

The flag is too large and cannot be properly displayed and I am afraid it does not speak for me, nor do the users of the forum who complain about how the club is being run. What sort of chairman do you want – Ladak from Kettering – Reynolds or Singh from Darlington – Heaney from Truro?

As soccer fans we find it difficult to face facts, but here are some.

The club was going bust before Dale answered, and probably faced oblivion. There is not space to mention the number of non-league clubs to which this has happened. Telford are one of the few who have a phoenix like future.

Now our future is exciting, a fact that is manifestly obvious in so many ways, not least the league table. Not every decision made has been wise, but this is surely a small price to pay for a fine day out at football.

My first visit to Forest Green was as a seven-year-old. I came with a friend of my father’s newsagent Jim Allen. ‘Raggie’ Bingle became my first football hero. I never dreamed, in the ensuing years that would now be watching something so wonderful.

Cannot we all move forward together? There was some evidence of this on Saturday when the band both inspired and united the Rockwool and the main stand. More of the same please, as well as more spectators.

I realise there may be some who take issue with this column. If you do please write or have a word in the CE suite after the match. Talking and listening is always a good idea. It is working so well with our footballers.

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