SQUAD spirits looked high, as they do on the new squad photograph.
Looking at it shows how many quality players we have. Chairman Dale, very much at the heart of all New Lawn matters is in the centre. I hope his pride and pleasure at being there matches mine at being in the centre of the county cricket club photo. He is dressed as usual and why not? Anything else would be hypocritical and we know Dale does not do hypocrisy.
Watching Forest Green used to be like listening to the music of Wagner. There were dreadful half-hours and glorious moments. Now we get glorious half-hours! This is certainly so in the first half against Ebbsfleet.
After falling behind to a 40-yard thump, Rovers played super mature football. Using the full width of the pitch and attacking at pace they destroyed Ebbsfleet. With the forwards interchanging and with midfielders getting forward at every opportunity and defenders doing the same it was all too much for Ebbsfleet. They did not know who to mark and how to stem the flow.
Matty Taylor was both provider and scorer. Seeing Yan on one of his box bound runs the centre forward set him up with the perfect pass. Yan does not miss such chances. Matt himself got a chance to score from a perfect cross from defender Oshodi. Ben Wright, so dangerous from free-kicks and corners thumped in a shot so hard the Ebbsfleet goalkeeper could not hold it, and one of his corners was turned into the net by Ebbsfleet forward Elder. It was credited to Eddie O, who was certainly there or thereabouts and I doubt if he will complain.
Visiting manager Liam Daish denied his team half-time dressing room comforts and suitably chastened, they improved in the second half. There were no more goals, but plenty of excitement. Winger Norwood could have had a hat-trick but his finishing did not match his pace or ability to beat a man.
Full marks to the crowd. There was real noise from all areas. The band contributed as well creating a boisterous atmosphere. Can it be that as well as gaining a thrilling team we are becoming a noisy crowd, giving the team the support and backing they deserve?
I was not at Grimsby, but enjoyed the commentary. Yan was a first class support to Bob. I would rather he had been playing but listening to his erudite comments in some way made up for it.
The scoreline did not disappoint me, but the way the Grimsby goal was scored did. Yet again a free-kick was poorly defended. Points were lost at Gateshead in similar fashion. This fault was present throughout last season and needs to be attended to.
There is good news of Chris Stokes. His return will allow Asafu to move to right- back – his preferred position. He has done well as a stand in left-side defender, but will achieve even more on the right. The outstanding Jamie Turley can then revert to centre-half. Aaran Racine has done splendidly and deserves an extended contract. I would sign him tomorrow.
It is astonishing he was without a club when he joined us, but of course Eddie O was when he arrived last season. These two signings are good management business.
Now for Alfreton. Their 3-0 beating of Luton was the surprise result of the season. They deserve a big thank you, but not until they have been beaten. It may take more than half an hour to achieve this, but we scored 10 goals against them last year. More of the same please!
Can the crowd top 1,000? I hope so. It is noticeable that there are new faces – young and old sitting in the main stand, enjoying the opportunity to watch thrilling football. Mrs Light and I are match sponsors, taking the opportunity to put something back into the club we love so much. The bonus for Mrs Light is her favourite Olympian Peter Reed will be there. He is surely the pride of Gloucestershire. Our football team are not far behind.
Do you agree with John?
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