Forest Green Rovers can win the league
THERE is a football chant, often uttered in hope rather than certainty. It begins ‘and now you’re going to believe us’ and I have found myself uttering it ever since 5pm on Saturday. It ends ‘now we’re going to win the league’.
After watching Forest Green win at Macclesfield on Saturday I believe this can happen.
In an outstanding game FGR smashed Macclesfield’s 100 per cent home record (4 wins, goals for 8, against 1), by winning a fine open contest 2-1.
On a first class playing surface both teams played open attacking football, anxious to entertain and, of course, anxious to win the game.
There was no time wasting, no playing for a draw, no ‘we have come to get a result’ mentality. Someone should tell football folk that phrase is ridiculous because win, draw or defeat are all results. Too often this silly phrase means we have come to grind out a draw. This attitude bores us all.
None of that on Saturday. It was end-to-end football, and perhaps the best performance I have seen from FGR.
With exciting players like Klukowski and Norwood not fully fit and Reece Styche on the bench, I feared the worst. Instead we got the best. Picking a man of the match was impossible – all the players were candidates.
As the coach left rural Cheshire the sun was setting . By the time we reached the hills of the West Midlands (Clee, Clent and Malvern) the sky was flowing red, like the embers of a warm fire. It mirrored my mood – one of genuine delight in watching a club I love play so well.
On Friday night, Lincoln City visit the New Lawn. I anticipate the season’s largest crowd.
Cirencester Town have also made a fine start to their season in the South West Division of the Southern League being in second place. Winchester were beaten 3-1 on Saturday.
Looking for the match report early on Sunday morning (my non-league paper arrives at 7.15am) I first saw the headline. It read ‘Griffin helps the Town to victory’.
Then I saw the match report was written by the same Griffin – Cirencester Town striker, Scott. Not content with making headlines, he writes them as well. Keep it up Scott, and keep winning.
Now the first class cricket season has ended there has been a chance to look at the averages.
Former Gloucestershire players Jon Lewis and Steve Kirby have inferior averages to all the Gloucester pace bowlers (W Gidman, Norwell, Payne, Saxelby and Fuller). I hope these two gentlemen who have done so much for the game do not go on too long. They both deserve to go out on a high.
The case of Mark Ramprakash should be a warning to them.
Facing a spell in the Surrey Second XI he announced his retirement from the game. His season’s average was ten. His early departure from the game was predicted in this column and while praising the runs he scored, his bat-waving dissent at Cheltenham should be remembered as well.
What a pity this gifted player was too often the victim of the demons within.
Mrs Light and I await news of the Blackthorn Skittles tournament held in Torquay. Cotswold WAGS, a team based at Bibury FC, were playing there and a team member is a friend of ours. Knowing her, I am sure everyone will have enjoyed a good weekend whatever the skittles score. Watch this space.
Next Saturday will see me on my Cotswold travels. Never one for staying in on a sporting day I will be found on a local touchline. It may well be at Cirencester Rugby Club, now playing in a league higher than Stroud. This must delight senior members of the Cirencester club who will remember the days when Stroud declined to play our town club – deeming us as inferior. Of course these members are too nice to gloat. I am not and am busy doing the gloating for them!
Wretched weather as I write – nights drawing in, but no despondency in the Light house. Forest Green and Cirencester are second in their leagues, while Swindon are fourth in theirs. It is going to be an exciting winter.