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Forest Green Rovers vs Harrogate Town preview: FGR aim to continue promotion push

Forest Green Rovers host Harrogate Town on Saturday afternoon as they look to continue their title challenge at the top of Sky Bet League Two.

The Green are right in the middle of the promotion battle as they sit third in the league – only one point off top of the league Cheltenham Town, and five points ahead of eighth place, Exeter City.


Forest Green Rovers: LWLWD
FGR have had a mixed run of results in the last few weeks, with the Gloucestershire side picking up seven points from the last 15 on the back of a three-game win streak.

A goal at the death from Carlos Mendes denied the Green all three points in their last match, as they drew 2-2 with fellow promotion chasers, Morecambe United.

Mark Cooper’s side have conceded nine goals in the last five games, including a 3-0 loss to Stevenage and a 3-1 loss to Southend.

Harrogate Town: WWWLD
After a poor run of form heading into the backend of 2020, Harrogate have really found their stride recently, with four wins out of their last five.

More impressively, the Yorkshire-based side have kept clean sheets in their last five victories, most recently a 3-0 win over Colchester United.

Town find themselves 10th in the league as they head into the game, however a win could potentially leave them just three points off the playoff spots.

Last time out:

Harrogate Town 0-1 Forest Green Rovers
CNG Stadium
December 5, 2020

It was a successful trip to North-Yorkshire for Rovers in their last meeting with Harrogate, with the Green winning 1-0.

It was a tight affair with possession and chances created in the balance, however the deadlock was broken with just over half an hour remaining when Jamille Matt tapped home Nicky Cadden’s cross from close range.

Both sides continued to test either ‘keepers, however no clear-cut chances were created as the game finished 1-0.

Team News:

Forest Green have been struck with a number of injuries leading up to the game, resulting in Cooper describing the current situation at the club as “a busy treatment room.

“Today (Thursday) is a light day, we’re just trying to get some energy back into the players who played the other night, and some of the other boys are doing a little bit more. We won’t know until tomorrow. We’re trying to give the boys that have been out as long as possible to put themselves forward for Saturday.”

Cooper also gave an update on Jordan Moore-Taylor, claiming he’s still a little while away from returning to the squad.

“He can do everything but apart from contact training. We can’t put him in any sort of situation where he might get contact. We’re going to get him a light cast for his arm which will enable him to up his rehab and then he can start to play.”

Word from camp:

Ahead of the game, Cooper was full of praise for Harrogate Town, especially their current form.

“They’ve always played with plenty of energy and desire and that hasn’t changed,” said Cooper.

Once you have that platform, and then add some quality on top of that, it gives you an opportunity to win games on a regular basis and they’ve been doing that of late… we’re very aware of Harrogate, how front foot they are, and they’ll come after us on Saturday and we have to be able to deal with that and cause them problems.

Forest Green striker Josh March has been on loan at Harrogate since June, and the 23-year-old has found joy during his loan spell, netting six times in 18 games.

“Marchy’s done well, which was always the plan and it’s a shame that he’s picked up an injury, but he wouldn’t have been able to play Saturday anyway.

“We’ve been keeping an eye on Josh, watching clips and speaking to him regularly. He’s enjoyed himself, gone out and scored goals, which was the plan and it’s a shame that he probably won’t get that opportunity for a while.”

Mark Robins’ side kick off at 3pm against Harrogate in what will prove to be another important tie in pursuit of League Two promotion for the Rovers.

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