Forest Green Rovers 0-1 Morecambe

  • On November 18, 2018

New Lawn, Saturday 17 November 2018, League 2, 3pm.

Att 3085 with 94 from the Shrimps.

Shrimps – Halstead Mills Conlan Old Lavelle Wildig c Cranston Ellison Mandeville Oliver Leitch-Smith subs used Tutte for Mandeville 66, Kenyon for Ellison 77 and Oswell for Oliver 82.

FGR – Montgomery Winchester Rawson McGinley Mills James Digby Archibald Brown Williams Reid subs used Campbell for James 72.

Ref – Ben Toner, only one yellow card in the game, for Theo Archibald for a dive so he was in full social worker mode today.

Yellows, FGR -Archibald 44.

Pitch, looked better than it played, was quite bobbly despite heavy watering, grass maybe a little too long, as the ball didn’t fizz around much. Weather was very sunny and cold, predominant wind blowing with the Shrimps in the 2nd half.

With a late injury in training to Oates, Kev took his place in an otherwise settled side, with the bench looking strong, no Thommo though! With the announcement that Zak Mills is to undergo surgery on his hernia we were surprised to see him start, however he will be under the knife after the Halifax game.

The game started slowly, with FGR building patiently and the Shrimps struggling to pass out of their own half. Theo Archibald was lively, he switched wings and began to assert himself on Zak, with a run and shot after 25 mins. The Shrimps replied with a Mills effort on target that Montgomery (yes he is called Jim, memories of 73 Cup Final!!) fielded without panic. Then Archibald cut in to set up James whose low shot was parried by the body of Halstead but rolled underneath and goal wards, Old being alert to clear off the line. FGR had stepped up the pace and had a header from a corner by Williams ( smallest man on the pitch!!) tipped over acrobatically by Halstead just before half time. Mandy cut in from the left and dummied to create space, his powerful drive again fielded faultlessly by the alive Montgomery. So HT 0-0, without really bursting into life.

Archibald again made ground easily and crossed a teaser that avoided any contact along the six yard box and was cleared. Williams did the same on the right after 51 mins, his low cross somehow threading itself across the six yard line, evading all flailing legs, as FGR stepped up the pressure. Reid fired in an effort that Halstead back pedalling to tip over on the hour and yet more corners were repelled. Still the tide kept coming, with Old and Lavelle alert and keen in the tackle we were hanging on but the ball was coming back to easily. Tutte, (announced as Tootay!!) replaced Mandy and Archibald rode his luck, diving again when Cranston pulled his foot away from a tackle. Referee Toner gave the foul, luckily for Archibald though, there was no contact and it was a clear dive. The resulting free kick was curled into the grateful arms of Halstead. Kenyon came on for Kev, Cranston went wide left, Wildig wide right, with Tutte and Kenyon in the middle in a 4-4-2 and suddenly we looked a different proposition. Reid had a chip saved for another corner which we broke from and a great ball by Conlan released Tutte whose shot skittered wide, close but not close enough.

Reid had once last effort chipping Halstead who agains was alert to tip away fro another corner.

Oswell replaced Vadaine and just as it looked as though we had weathered the storm, some neat interplay down the right, found Tutte in space, his pass come shot was trapped by the unmarked Wildig to swivel outside the six yard line and hammer high past the diving Montgomery. Cue scenes!!!

Just for once our game management was superb, we kept the ball in the opposition half for the remainder of time, Oswell and contain in particular were superb in keeping possession.

Smash and Grab? Yes, defo. Have we played better and lost? Yes, Exeter, Swindon, Oldham, Tranmere and Colchester at home we were fluid and a threat, but today, obdurate, hard working and hard to break down. Do I care?

A word for the management, they suffer some criticism for their tactic and subs sometimes, but today, the way they changed the personal to affect the game positively from our perspective was superb. Credit when it works like criticism when it doesn’t. Well done.

Now, what about them pesky Yorkshire lot on Tuesday??