FGR Matches from seasons gone by – The 2004-05 season.

Tim Harris, who was sacked as manager following defeats in Rovers’ first 7 games of the season
19Northwich Victoria42957372955112143−1442Relegated due to ground concerns
20Forest Green Rovers422910194046112241−4033Reprieved from relegation
21Farnborough Town424512204026131549−5429Relegated to Conference North/Conference South
22Leigh RMI422217185224151346−6718

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 FGR V BURTON ALBION from  20th November 2004, a cold winters match…  A summary of the season is set out below.

2004 – 05, Tim Harris gets off to the worst possible start & Alan Lewer gets the stick!!

Tim Harris was manager at the start of the season, and back in the driving seat as Chairman was Trevor Horsley.  We got off to our worst ever start under Tim, losing the first seven games ending with the defeat 4-0 away at Halifax.  This was the last straw for the board, and Alan Lewer was brought in as manager to try and stop the rot.

From day one, Lewer’s task was an uphill struggle, although his first game in charge at home to Farnborough ended 1-1 giving Rovers their first point.  3 further losses followed, before the first win of the season came away at Woking in October 1-0 in Forest Green’s 12th game of the season.  A long wait for a win.  Rovers were firmly rooted to the foot of the table and 3 further defeats in the League were followed by a surprise 3-1 win away at York on bonfire night.

Having had the worst possible start to the season in the league, Forest Green Rovers drew Thame United in the FA Cup with Jefferson Louis playing for them, against his old team, FGR.  There was a real sense of satisfaction for supporters and players as Rovers progressed to the first round, winning 5-0.

Forest Green drew AFC Bournemouth at home for what was our 4th ever appearance in the FAC 1st Round.  The game ended 1-1 and  was more entertaining than the previous game against a league team, against Exeter two years previously.  The replay in Bournemouth’s new stadium saw many Rovers fans travel down in the hope that they would witness history.  Rovers gave a really good account of themselves, Des Little scoring a great goal through towards the end of the match, which was lost 3-1.

The FA Cup game at the end of November gave rise to the best spell of form in the League that year including the 2-1 defeat of Aldershot Town on Boxing Day.

The following 3 League matches were drawn before we lost at home to Aylesbury United in the FA Trophy.  Time to “concentrate on the League”.  We were still in deep trouble towards the bottom of the table in February.

Northwich, who had finished bottom of the League this season before but were reprieved, ran into difficulties on their own new stadium project and the parent company went into administration. They received a 10 points deduction but fought back through the latter part of the season, just avoiding relegation.  Northwich’s success on the field moved Forest Green into the third relegation slot above Leigh RMI and Farnborough. A 1-0 win away at Carlisle at the beginning of April gave some sense of hope, following despair the week before when Forest Green lost away at Northwich 2-1.

Everything depended on beating Hereford United to pull away from the relegation zone but we lost 3-1.  Following a defeat at Morecambe and a draw at home to Canvey Island, Rovers finished in 20th place and were officially relegated from the League. Alan Lewer left the Club following the final game.   BUT…Rovers were reinstated in the close season, having already decided to playing Conference North rather than Conference South for the following season The League relegated Northwich from the Conference because of serious company irregularities.

Forest Green Rovers was spared to fight another day in the Conference, just as Northwich had been the year before.

Progress on The New Lawn

 While Northwich were getting into serious difficulties with their new stadium, the process of getting our new stadium was still slow, since its inception in 2001. A “Resolution not to refuse” The New Lawn was given by the Council, and then followed a tortuous 12 months as the Legal Agreement was negotiated by 13 sets of solicitors, all soliciting in the best interests of their clients.  Legal bills went north of £100,000.  Negotiations also continued with potential purchasers of The Lawn, and an agreement was reached with Redrow Homes buy The Lawn, with a cost free license for Rovers to continue playing there until the new stadium was complete.  The money was therefore in the bank to enable the job to proceed without affecting the day-to-day finances of the Club.  In May 2005 the last Legal Agreement was signed and the Planning Approval Certificate issued within 24 hours.  Work on our current home literally began the next day with a break-neck program to get finished in a year.