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Match preview Vs Forest Green Rovers

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Date: 22-09-09gif Venue: The New Lawngif Kick off: 19:45hrs
It was this corresponding fixture last season that ended up being one of the most controversial games that we have been involved in for a long, long time.  It started off quite friendly enough with the Harriers opening the scoring with a brilliantly taken Martin Brittain goal after twenty minutes.  We should have increased the lead soon after but the referee, David Coote, ruled it out when he said that Matt Barnes-Homer had fouled the FGR defender just before shooting although he didn't touch him.  That should have been a warning of things to come.

Martin Riley The Forest Green equaliser came soon after and then things took a turn for the ugly.  Former Harrier, Lee Ayres, slid in on Justin Richards with both feet sending Richards up into the air and down to the ground.  Our former striker got up and put his face close to Ayres face and raised his fist at him.

The stupid referee did the correct thing in sending Richards off but then incredibly allowed Ayres to stay on the pitch with just a yellow card brandished at him.  Worse was to follow.

During the second half, following FGR taking the lead, Martin Riley was also sent off for the first time in his career when Andy Mangan ran past him towards goal and then swerved in front of Riley, falling down in the process.  Riley got the Red card and Mangan got off scot free.

At least we had the last laugh when Stefan Moore equalised in the dying seconds of the game to incredible scenes from the team and management alike.

Now a few months on we have an almost new team and the Coote will not be in charge of the game.  FGR are also in deep, deep trouble at the foot of the table and already at this early stage of the season they're staring relegation in the face.

We'll still be without Robbie Matthews for the game and probably John Finnigan too.  Dean Bennett could also be out of the reckoning too after limping off with an injury on Saturday that is thought to be an aggravation of the sore toe he picked up during the week.

As stated before FGR are having a terrible time at the moment and it wasn't helped by the sacking of Jim Harvey at the start of the season.  Since then the veteran striker David Brown has been Caretaker Manager and then a couple of weeks ago they bought in David Hockaday, no, I've never heard of him either.

At least he has shown that he intends to turn the Stroudies fortunes around and has bought in a host of on loan players.  The latest was today when he released Ross Stearn and bought in a youngster from Watford, 20 year old Loren Maxwell.

On the injury front they will be without Andy Taylor and Marcus Palmer who both have injuries and have a doubt about Jon Else.  Goalkeeper Terry Burton could be back after serving a three game ban but his temporary replacement David Wilkinson could continue in goal after some fine performances.

This is going to be another tough game - isn't that always the case at Forest Green - but I fully expect us to pull out all the stops and come home with three points and a full complement of players.

Photo © KHFC


Teams:

Harriers from:
Coleman, Singh, Baker, Riley, Courtney, Sharpe, Farrell, Finnigan, Knights, Hadley, McDermott, McPhee, Bennett, Hayward, Caines, Costello, Barnes-Homer, Smikle, Dolman.

Forest Green from:
Wilkinson, Burton, Pass, McDonald, Ayres, Preece, Stonehouse, Brown, Lloyd, Platt, Smith, Else, Maxwell, Pugh, Curran, Davies, Henry, Shaze, Mensah, Rigg, Imudia, Spence, Thorne.

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