"Green grow the rushes, O!"
(Traditional English folk song - Anon.)
This match marks a day of “firsts” … Our first home game under the chairmanship of Leigh Pomlett, and of course our first home game of this League 2 season. It’s also the first ever competitive meeting between Walsall and Forest Green Rovers, who have achieved League status under manager Mark Cooper’s guidance. Older members will recall Mark Cooper’s father Terry Cooper, who formed a very successful full-back partnership with Paul Madeley at Leeds United.
Forest Green also have their share of “firsts” - they were the first football club to use a robot lawnmower (guided by GPS), and the first football club in the world to be certified as “carbon neutral”. Owner Dale Vince is a “green entrepreneur”, and since his takeover in 2011 the club has embarked on several initiatives to conserve energy, such as the 180 solar panels installed on the stand roof.
Pre-season friendly fixtures are listed, together with their opening League 2 fixture when they won 1-0 against Oldham Athletic. This means that they are nominally above us in the League 2 table, if only on alphabetical order … Contributors to the Forest Green forum are evenly split in their predictions for this game, with wins draws and losses all featuring!
24 July Bristol City (H) Lost 3-4
27 July Bath City (A) Drew 1-1
3 Aug Oldham Athletic (H) Won 1-0
Will Darrell Clarke find room for his new Canadian striker acquisition? It may be that Caolan Lavery’s fitness levels need some work, and of course the standard adage is that you shouldn’t change a winning team. But Darrell Clarke’s methods won’t necessarily fit in to standard thinking, so all will be revealed on Saturday.
Prediction time - and having got the Northampton Town forecast spot on in terms of the result and even the goalscorer, the standard adage here is “quit while you’re ahead” - but donning the steel helmet and peering over the parapet let’s anticipate a 2-1 home win, with goals from Elijah Adebayo and Josh Gordon. Caolan Lavery to come on as a substitute in the 82nd minute and crash a screamer into the bar…