FGR matches from seasons gone by – The 2005/06 campaign.

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 the action, but then hey, what’s new ?!!!

This next match in the series is Kidderminster Harriers v FGR from 17TH September 2005.  A memorable trip up the road…

And now another game from this season – FGR v Morecambe  from 1st October 2005 – the attendance was 802.

The final game from the 2005-06 season, is near the end of the campaign, 15th April 2006, our last season at The Lawn where we had been based since Victorian times.

Rovers head to Grays Athletic as the season draws to a close, with relegation still on the horizon. There’s late drama in this one, so you’ll want to stick around to the end!

Here’s a summary of the season as a whole – The Last Season at The Lawn, 2005-06

Following Alan Lewer’s departure after the last game of the season and a finish in a relegation spot, the Board appointed former Rovers player Gary Owers as manager, fully expecting to play in Conference North in 2005-06. He set about building Forest Green’s first full time squad to ensure that Rovers bounced straight back into the Conference National League.

PAUL WANLESS CELEBRATES HIS SECOND GOAL AGAINST HALFAX, AUGUST 2005, CHASED BY ADAM GARNER
FOREST GREEN ROVERS 2005-06, THE FIRST FULL TIME SQUAD
BACK ROW; CHRISTIAN SYLVESTER, SCOTT ROGERS, JON BESWETHERICK, MARVIN BROWN
MIDDLE ROW; KEITH MARFELL, ABDOU SALL, PAUL WANLESS, RYAN CLARKE, MATT GADSBY, RYAN HARRISON, ADAM GARNER, SEKANI SIMPSON, MICK BYRNE
FRONT ROW; MARK DANKS, MARK BEESLEY, IAN FOSTER, GARY OWERS, SHAUN TAYLOR, JON RICHARDSON, DARREN DAVIES, DAMON SEARLE

The situation was turned on its head when Northwich Victoria reached an agreement with the authorities to drop out of Conference National in order to avoid any further punishment associated with the non-completion of their ground and irregularities associated with the Football Club. Rovers were therefore given a reprieve and re-entered the Conference National.

DIFFERENT GENERATIONS WATCH THE LAST GAME AT THE LAWN UNFOLD

By the time of the decision, the squad had already been tailored to compete in the lower league, leaving Gary Owers in the unusual situation of being promoted before a ball had been kicked.

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GARY OWERS GIVES INSTRUCTIONS TO BRUNO TEIXIERA AGAINST HALIFAX, AUGUST 2005

Unusually, Rovers kicked off the season on a high note, with a 1-0 home win against Cambridge United. This was followed by a draw away at Tamworth and gave everyone cause for optimism. Further points were picked up against Halifax and Exeter before Grays Athletic visited The Lawn in early September for one of the most entertaining games seen on top of the hill for a long time, Rovers losing 2-1 in the last minute.

Results continued to see-saw between good and bad, with another noteable win at home to Morecambe in October, Forest Green’s Portuguese star Bruno Teixeira scoring the winning goal in an increasingly rare appearance. But it was midfield inspiration Paul Wanless who was keeping Rovers afloat with goals at important moments to see a lower mid-table position achieved towards the end of the year.

After Christmas, Forest Green entertained Dorchester Town in the FA Trophy, winning the match 3-1. Former Rovers favourite Andy Leitch travelled up with the coach from Dorchester to witness another good cup win.

League form improved with the arrival of striker Guy Madjo and the loan signing of winger Johnny Hayes from Reading. Altrincham were soundly thrashed 5-0 and Tamworth, the next opposition at The Lawn, were expected to be beaten to move Rovers to a mid table position. Nothing could have been further from the truth, however, as The Lambs won the bruising encounter 3-1 and Rovers started to head inexorably towards the bottom of the table. Two more defeats were followed before another 5 goal win to relieve the gloom, this time against fellow strugglers Scarborough.

JULIAN ALSOP SCORES THE LAST EVER GOAL AT THE LAWN AND SECURES FOREST GREEN’S PLACE IN THE CONFERENCE FOR ANOTHER SEASON.

By the end of March, Rovers position was dangerously close to the two automatic relegation slots and a 3-0 home defeat by Dagenham and Redbridge warned of impending doom if things did not improve quickly. Four consecutive draws in April left Rovers deep in the relegation mire and a defeat away at Burton Albion saw Forest Green with just two games left to avoid the drop. The penultimate game away at Woking was lost, despite the home team being down to ten men for much of the encounter.

GUY MADJO, DAMON SEARLE AND ABDOU SALL CELEBRATE AFTER THE FINAL WHISTLE.

As a result, Rovers were glued to the bottom of the table, needing to win their last game of the season. But for them to avoid relegation, the results of both Scarborough and Tamworth also needed to go in their favour.

The stage was therefore set for the last ever game at The Lawn. Forest Green entertained Stevenage Borough, who themselves had to win in order to secure a place in the play-offs. On a beautiful sunny afternoon, Rovers raised their game and cruised to a 2-0 victory, with a strike in the first half from fans’ favourite Bruno Teixeira and a second half header from Julian Alsop.

WHO WROTE THE SCRIPT? ANOTHER DRAMATIC END TO ANOTHER SEASON.

Miraculously, both Scarborough and Tamworth drew their final game, allowing Forest Green to leapfrog them and to avoid relegation on goal difference. Relieved fans joined celebrating players on the pitch for the final time, rekindling memories of the last-minute reprieve against Kettering in 2000.

AND WITH THE GAME OVER, TIME FOR ONE LAST PHOTO AT THE LAWN.

So, after a topsy-turvy season, Rovers survived to fight another day and to play their ninth consecutive season in the Conference at the new stadium.

117 years after the Club’s formation, Rovers move to their new home a short distance away, still in the village of Forest Green, but now housed in 21st Century accommodation from which to launch the next chapter in the history of The Friendly Club on the Hill. That really was something to shout about!