“I’M A believer,” sang The Monkees over the tannoy at Meadow Lane on Saturday.

Anyone who saw Forest Green’s game against league leaders Notts County knows the feeling, now believing that the team can climb the league and avoid relegation.

The late equalising goal was cruel, denying Rovers a worthy win, but this was a performance that transcended the result. Sometimes by their attitude, skill and determination a team can fill supporters with pride. That was what happened on Saturday.

Facing the table toppers in front of a crowd of more than 13,000, Forest Green were outstanding.

The green shoots of recovery were visible against Swindon, the stems were obvious against Accrington Stanley and they grew in the victory over Cheltenham. On Saturday fruit was appearing. There could be a rich harvest.

Manager Mark Cooper has now settled on his best team, his best formation and, most importantly of all, his best back four.

The two centre backs were our rocks on which waves of Notts County attacks broke down. Perhaps the job of this brave pair (Lee Collins and Mark Roberts) is now made easier by the fact that ‘Mr Efficiency’ Isaiah Osbourne is playing just in front of them. He has brought a calm, sensible approach to a previously erratic area.

The County defenders could never rest. The dash and enterprise of Luke James being an ideal foil for the strength of Christian Doidge. Christian is at his best with the ball at his feet (remember Wembley) and this is how our goal came about. He made a strong run down the left and found space for a defence-splitting cross. The ever-willing Omar Bugiel did the rest.

Doidge’s run was typical of the confidence in the side. He backed himself to succeed and certainly did so.

Our spirited team did not allow Notts County to play. Forwards chased back and marking was good.

Our former captain Liam Noble, who has now left the club by mutual consent, was not missed at all.

One goal is never enough and Rovers spurned opportunities to extend the lead, but County never gave up, and in added time they fashioned an undeserved equaliser.

The anguish of our players was clear to see. They had done us proud and had given their all, but the cruel face of sport had the last bitter laugh.

Travelling home I pondered the Man of the Match award. My choice would have been one of Roberts, Collins or Osbourne but back in Cirencester I changed my mind.

Some 150 FGR fans had travelled from Gloucestershire. They were outstanding throughout the game. High in the stand opposite I could always hear them, They, and the team, had done the club proud.

It is a tough, but thrilling journey in Division Two and there will be stops and starts along the way. Saturday was a distillation of that journey. Strong opposition, a perfect playing surface, a large, noisy stadium but neither our team nor our fans were intimidated.

My man of the match award is split between the travelling 154.

I hope they enjoyed the day out as much as I did.

Talking to travelling impresario Ken Boulton I was able to confirm something I had suspected. In the early fifties veteran Tetbury skittlers will remember landlord Clarence Bracey.

Before coming to Trouble House, Clarence had been cricket coach at Downside School. Ken confirmed my thoughts.

Young batsman James, who has just broken into the Gloucestershire 1st XI, is of true Bracey stock.

In those far off, dearly remembered days Clarence gave me the little coaching I had. His love of the game was deep and true. James’ late-season success for his county would have delighted him.

Mrs Light had been following Forest Green Rovers’ fortunes by watching Sky and was considerably aggrieved by the late equaliser. She felt better after I took her out for a splendid Sunday lunch.