FGR Matches From Seasons Gone By – 2006/07 – First season at The New Lawn.

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 weeks.

We can’t guarantee that you will enjoy watching, but then hey, what’s new ?!!!

This is the first of 2 matches from the 2006/07 season and is our first competitive game at The New Lawn. In front of 881 spectators, FGR played Dagenham and Redbridge  on the 12th August 2006.

A new home for the 2006 – 07 Season – a miserable start then a turnaround under Jim Harvey. Here’s a run-down of the season.

The cliffhanger on the last day at the old ground was forgotten as Gary Owers took charge of the first league game at The New Lawn on 12 August against Dagenham and Redbridge. Fans turned up full of optimism.  But after the first few matches there was a returning sense of gloom for the season to come, despite the bright new surroundings.  

By the end of August the Board decided that change was needed and Gary left the Club.  The new manager was Jim Harvey, a manager with a very big reputation for an entertaining style of winning football.  Jim arrived at the beginning of September to turn the club around on the pitch.

Jim Harvey joined FGR as manager at the beginning of September.

The first win arrived on the last Saturday in September against Stafford Rangers, with Adriano Rigoglioso scoring one and Alan Russell the other in a 2-1 win, in front of 945 supporters.  But any sense of optimism was put on hold on Friday 6th October when recently relegated Oxford United beat Rovers  5 – 1 in front of Rovers’ then club record league attendance of 3021.

With feet firmly back on the ground, Rovers then enjoyed a 7 match unbeaten run in the league before losing 2 games on the trot at home in December.  John Hardiker joined at the end of November, providing extra strength at the back but the following week Rovers went out of the FA Trophy to Yeading, having already been beaten by Stevenage in the FA Cup 4th qualifying round.

January proved to be a turning point beginning with a 3 – 2 home win against Weymouth.  Fans turned out in numbers before the game to help ensure the match went ahead in very wet conditions. 3 further wins in the month brought 12 valuable points.  The improvement in form coincided with a clear out in January, with Alex Meechan moving to Chester City, and Danny Carey-Bertram arriving.

Mark Beesley celebrates with Michael Brough after scoring against Weymouth on  a wet afternoon at The New Lawn.

February and March saw mixed results, with the highlight being a 2-0 win at Oxford United, with both goals scored by Carey-Bertram on 10 March.  A further win against Exeter city at the end of the month brought welcome cheer but by the beginning of April Rovers were still only 4 points above the relegation zone after a 0-0 draw with Grays athletic at The New Lawn in front of 782 people.

The average attendance was up to more than 1200, including the bumper crowd for Oxford United’s first visit to FGR.  As summer approached the future from the outside looked bright for all concerned with Forest Green Rovers but off the pitch, little was being done to market the facilities and to get people up to The New Lawn for non football activities. The financial projections for the new stadium had suggested a big jump in revenue, but with a tiny marketing budget, the expected revenue on moving to the new ground wasn’t materialising. 

For some years, the Club had been considering a move to a shareholding company and in February an EGM was called by the Club to discuss proposals to enable direct investment in FGR, (the move didn’t ultimately take place until 2010).  The old constitution was no longer appropriate for such a large football club, and prevented proper investment.  In the summer, Club Chairman Colin Gardner issued a “Use it or Lose it” plea to fans to come and use the facilities at The New Lawn, with the accounts showing a loss for the year up to £415,000 on a turnover of £1.2m, up from £850,000 at the old ground and now with substantially higher running costs.