FOOTBALL

Cheltenham vs. Forest Green: Five things we learned

  1. Gap perhaps not as large as everyone thought

Just eight weeks ago only four points separated these two Gloucestershire rivals and since then Cheltenham have pulled away from Forest Green, opening up an 11-point gap. However, watching the game on Saturday you would have had a hard time guessing which side were higher in the table, as Rovers looked comfortable on their way to victory on their rival’s home turf. Rovers will spend big again in the summer and will continue to close the gap on their neighbours next year.

  1. We saw another side to Forest Green

Rovers have been known to play an exciting brand of football this year, but have struggled to put a string of results together. They have struggled at the other end of the pitch and had conceded 14 goals in their last six games going into Saturday’s match.

Against Cheltenham, who have been in fine goal-scoring form themselves, Rovers looked solid throughout and showed the sort of resilience that is vital to succeed in the Football League.

  1. Still work to be done for Cheltenham

Cheltenham have enjoyed an excellent run of form, with an impressive 3-0 away to rivals Swindon the highlight. However, they looked lacklustre as they slumped to a home defeat in “El Glosico.” If the Robins are to mount a challenge for a play-off place next season they will need to find a level of consistency and find a way to raise their levels when things aren’t going their way.

  1. Clubs will have a fight on in the transfer window

The main focus for both of these clubs in the summer will be the futures of their star men – Christian Doidge (Forest Green) and Mohamed Eisa (Cheltenham). In such a competitive league, having a player capable of scoring goals in your squad is a huge asset, although the performances of both these players will have attracted the interest of clubs up and down the Football League.

If they are able to fend off any potential suitors, Cheltenham and Forest Green they will have a top player to build a strong team around for next season.

  1. Forest Green are not a one-man-team

A lot has been made of Christian Doidge’s form this season and his importance to Forest Green, which cannot be overstated.

Predictably, he was the man to open the scoring in the derby with another expert finish to add to his tally. From there, Rovers controlled the game continuing to create chances and were solid in the second half to see the game out. Doidge again took the plaudits, but Rovers showed that they are a real team in their derby victory.

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