The FA Cup tie at the New Lawn Nailsworth did not disappoint! The 3-3 draw was a full-blooded yet skilful encounter.

In retrospect the draw was a fair result, but it could have been very different.

Forest Green Rovers had a patched-up side with Fitzwater, Traore, Osbourne and Marsh-Brown unfit to play. Despite this they competed well for most of the game against a more streetwise Exeter side, strong enough to start with former Gloucestershire County Cricket Club prospect Reid on the bench.

In an open, entertaining game the lead changed three times and with a minute to go Forest Green were in front again. A famous victory was within the grasp of the Gloucestershire side.

Not so. Some limp defending (not for the first time) allowed Exeter to snatch an equaliser in the dying seconds. Rovers made a complete hash of defending a corner leaving the impressive Jayden Stockley a free header. He was unchallenged, but the ball should never have got to him. The home goalkeeper should have caught or punched the ball away. It was a fundamental error and understandably frustrated Manager Mark Cooper.

Mark expressed his feelings by throwing two water bottles to the ground. They were not aimed at anyone, nor were they thrown anywhere near the field of play, for this he was sent to the back of the stand by referee Gavin Ward. I am at a loss to know what offence he had committed. His is a passionate touchline presence and this brief display of anger affected no-one on or off the field. In my view the referee should have ignored it.

What I cannot ignore is the attitude of some of my fellow Rovers fans. They stayed away. The attendance was 2,250, but nearly 900 came from Exeter. Home support was a meagre 1,400 at most. The recent performances of the team merited for greater support. In addition, whereas the South Stand were vociferous the East Stand were surprisingly soporific, waking up at the end, but for eighty minutes being surprisingly flat.

The splendid competition comes around just once a year. It is time for everyone to seize the moment.

Now I can pick my holiday dates. The Gloucestershire County Cricket Club fixtures have been announced and an exciting festival is in prospect. Happily, the first day is two weeks later than last year and school holidays will have kicked in well before the last (July 27).

There are two championship fixtures against attractive opposition (Durham and Sussex) while Essex and Glamorgan visit for T20 blast fixtures. These two matches will certainly be sell-outs. England’s ladies captain Heather Knight, brings her successful Western Storm team to Cheltenham for the first time making eleven days of attractive cricket.

With the co-operation of the ECB Gloucestershire have ensured another lively festival. Both parties are to be congratulated. It is marvellous to write that reports of the death of the festival are greatly exaggerated. The importance of Cheltenham to both our county club and cricket in general are understood by all.

It is not just Cheltenham that is alive and kicking. Cirencester is as well. Of late too many moaning minnies have said “the town is dying”. I hope they were out and about on Saturday. A marvellous market spread into Castle and Cricklade Street. There was fine entertainment on the stage and crowds flooded in. For the much-maligned Town Council the day was a triumph. It meant a splendid Saturday for Penny and I, for as well as fireworks at football there was the dramatic display from the Parish Church. Amongst all these delights Mrs Light has cooked one of her best Christmas cakes.

This community, especially the sporting one has made us so welcome. As we approach the twelfth anniversary of our arrival in Cirencester I make no apology for what may seem a self-indulgent column. Thank you everyone.