As we approach the first round of the FA Cup we look back on highlights in the competition for Cheltenham Town and Forest Green Rovers.
Cheltenham Town 1 – 5 Everton 2013
A sell out crowd attended Whaddon Road on the 7th January 2013 for what they thought could potentially be an upset. As it turned out it was anything but that. David Moyes’ Everton played a near full-strength side that included the likes of Marouane Fellaini, Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman.
It was a routine win for The Toffees, which saw Nikica Jelavic and Leighton Baines score before half-time.Leon Osman extended their lead after the break before Russell Pen replied for The Robins, their potential comeback was short-lived as Coleman and Marouane Fellaini rounded off the scoring at Whaddon Road.
Cheltenham’s boss Mark Yates said after the game that 5-1 was “a little bit harsh”.
Forest Green Rovers 3-4 Derby County 2009
Going to the Green side of Gloucestershire we now look back to a rollercoaster on a game that would be best described as a rollercoaster of emotions. In a game that was a sell-out, Fores Green Rovers took the lead when Jonathon Smith set his sights from range, Alex Lawless doubled their lead early in the first half. As half-time approached Derby County grew into the game Rob Hulse scored, before Martin Albrechtsen header levelled affairs going into the break.
The second half began and in the 71st minute Paul Stonhurst put Rovers ahead as they looked to complete a giant-killing, but Paul Green replied before a stoppage-time penalty was scored by Steve Davies following a red card to Rovers’ centre-back Darren Jones.
Derby County’s caretaker boss Chris Hutchingson said: “We were very lucky to go in level at 2-2 at half-time. It was a good honest cup tie.”
FGR boss Jim Harvey was understandably disappointed: “On reflection, we had it within our grasp to win it – we had believed we could do that for the whole game.”
Cheltenham Town and Forest Green Rovers begin their road to Wembley on the weekend against Maidstone United and Macclesfield Town respectively, but they will need to overcome these battles if they want to go to war with the big boys in the third round.