FGR Matches From Seasons Gone By! The 2003-04 season.
Some years ago the The Supporters Club rescued a number of match videos from going to the dump. The quality of the video material doesn’t match current day levels that FGR operate at but they are historic records of seasons gone by. A selection of the match videos have been digitised by The Supporters Club and will now be released via this webpage and via the FGR website – our thanks to FGR for this.
The videos cover a chunk of FGR’s progress through the Conference from the 2001-02 season and we hope that you will enjoy watching the action over the forthcoming weeks.
We can’t guarantee that you will enjoy watching the action, but then hey, what’s new ?!!!
This next match in the series is Leigh RMI v FGR from 6th September 2003
FGR’S 2003-04 season was a mixed bag. Expectations were high flowing the previous season’s highest ever finish of 9th, something to build on. Manager Colin Addison could call on 39 year old Neil Grayson, whilst Denny Ingram and Gareth Stoker joined the squad as Ken Boulton took over as Chairman to allow Trevor to concentrate on the Ground relocation plans. The season’s friendlies in July included traffic questionnaires as design work on the new stadium plan went ahead in earnest.
Two of Forest Green’s first five matches included five goal hauls for the opposition, one of them a 5-2 loss to Exeter City at home. Steve Brodie joined on loan from Chester bringing scintillating attacking form to Rovers, but after seven games, only seven points had been gained. By the end of September, things hadn’t improved when Scott Morgan lashed out at his team-mate Martin Foster in an away defeat at Halifax, and immediately left the club. Jamie Moralee and Richard Kennedy also joined Rovers from Barry Town who had just gone bust.
Forest Green’s League Position the year before entitled them to a first-ever appearance in the LDV Vans Trophy in which they were drawn against Brighton and Hove Albion away on Monday 13th October. Brighton became the highest position League opposition played to date and although the game was lost 2-0 with goals from Leon Knight, Forest Green did not disgrace themselves in any way against a team two divisions higher than them.
Gary Owers left the Club to manage Bath City at the beginning of November, as Forest Green lost in the FA Cup fourth qualifying round at home to Aldershot 3-1. Alex Sykes travelled the other way having been on loan at Bath as Rovers again lost to Aldershot this time 3-0 in the League.
As Christmas approached, Forest Green had already conceded 5 goals on three occasions before they infamously faced Hereford on Friday, December 19th at The Lawn losing 7-1. Colin Addison made his exit following that game to be replaced by his assistant Tim Harris, who took over as caretaker manager.
Forest Green defeated Chester City 2-1 at The Lawn in January, a game that they were fully expected to lose to the League leaders. On the day, Forest Green proved the better team, Scott Rodgers scoring the winner and the result convinced the directors to appoint Tim Harris on a permanent basis.
On the previous Saturday, Forest Green beat Sutton United 4-0 in the FA Trophy and went on to meet Dover in the fourth round, losing in a replay 2-1.
As the season wore on, Forest Green’s form dropped off and Rovers finished in 18th place nine points above the relegation zone. Talk towards the end of the season was once again dominated by the need to survive in the Conference.
Northwich Victoria finished bottom of the League below Leigh RMI and the bottom three teams were spared relegation as both Margate and Telford United left the League and Lewes failed ground grading rules and weren’t promoted.
Here’s another match from the same season – Farnborough v FGR 07.10.03 – attendance 521.