It’s a battle of the Rovers this Saturday as Forest Green entertains Doncaster, in a game that sees both desperate for a win.
Normally this is a standard fixture that will pass by without much notice, especially as we are still in the early stages of the season, although we won’t be able to say that much longer as we near the double digits in games played. At this point, most teams will have laid a marker of how their season will go. So, why highlight this game?
Home Win Needed
Forest Green skipper, Dom Bernard, wants a response after his side suffered a 4-1 loss last weekend against Crewe Alexandra. The New Lawn ground has seen four league games this season, and all have been losses. This is a trend that needs to be reversed quickly, according to Bernard.
Speaking to the official club site after the Crewe defeat, Bernard opened up about the manner of the loss.
He said: “The gaffer takes responsibility because that’s the kind of person he is – but is our fault.
We’re the ones putting the performances in and we have to apply the things he wants us to do. In the first half (against Crewe) we did that in stages, but we didn’t continue it.
Against Crewe, they were 1-0 up at half time only to fall apart in the second 45 minutes.
That’s completely down to ourselves, nothing else, lapses of concentration for the goal. It got completely out of our hands.”
On the opening day, they also lost to Salford City 2-0, ten days later they lost to the odd goal in three against Swindon Town, and then Newport County put three past them without reply.
Bernard further said: “We have to make this place a hard place to come. Doncaster will be tough because they’re a very good side. They’re good at what they do – fighting for every ball.”
Elusive Away Points
Doncaster fans may not see it quite that way as they have also struggled to pick up points, and on their travels so far they are matching Saturday’s opponents with no points for their efforts.
This is something that midfielder Harrison Biggins addressed when questioned after last weekend’s game at Wrexham.
He said: “We can’t keep saying that we deserved something. It’s been seven games now and we’re yet to win in the league, which is really disappointing.”
Speaking to the club website, the frustration was clear from Biggins.
He further said: “This is not the way we saw it panning out but we’ve got to come together now and really give it a good go next week.
A lot of performances have been positive and there’s been things to take out of them but that’s not what pushes you up the league.
We’ve got to cut out the errors that are leading to goals at the minute. It’s got to happen quickly.”
So far this season, Doncaster has lost 4-0 to Newport, then dropped to a 2-1 defeat at Milton Keynes, before the latest setback against Wrexham by the same score.
They are the only team in League Two yet to pick up a win and sit bottom of the table with just two points.
Forest Green are actually third in the away form standings with wins at Harrogate Town and Sutton United, as well as a credible draw at AFC Wimbledon, which means they currently sit 19th on seven points.
Forest Green have conceded 11 goals at home in their four defeats. This will have to improve if they are to gain that first home win.
Having said that, Doncaster have scored just twice on their travels and need to improve on that tally. Forest Green are also one of the most carded teams in the division, with two players seeing red at home, and amassing 20 yellow cards in total so far. This is an area of concern for gaffer David Horseman.
Doncaster are one of the best teams in the league when it comes to keeping possession with some fluid passing, something that boss Grant McCann will be pleased about, and they will need to use that in their favour in this game where something has to give.
With Forest Green able to pick up points a bit more freely, this could be the game they break their home win duck.