Phil Butterworth and Ryan Innis.

Club vice-chair, Phil Butterworth, gives his thoughts after Harrogate

What a relief !!!
I have hardly missed an away game in recent seasons. It’s been fun, enlightening and satisfying to support our club. Win, draw or lose there have been vivid memories from our thousands of miles travelling and from fixtures up and down the country.
I must admit 22-23 season was a tough one. Only once did we secure 3 points on the road and several matches where we were embarrassingly disappointing. Yes, there were new stadiums to visit, some fantastic atmospheres and some decent performances, BUT 378 days without a win was so frustrating.
As we headed north for our first away fixture of 23-24, I reflected on last season’s win at Bristol Rovers on the opening day. If only we could do it again. We travelled in hope, rather than expectation.
Harrogate was a lovely town. With the Supporters Club preview in hand, I took their advice and wondered around this famous spa town. Impressive buildings, interesting shops and best of all ‘Valley Gardens’ the most magnificent municipal green space I have ever seen. And who should I bump into, but Ryan Inniss doing his own walking tour of the town.
Ryan was having a stretch taking in the history of the town, I’m sure the coach feels cramped with those long legs. He remarked on the positivity of the squad, the excellent preparation by the manager and the need for a win. I came away from the conversation so glad I’d predicted an away win on the prediction forum earlier in the week. I was starting to believe. Come on Rovers!
And so it came to pass.  The giant of a man knew what he was talking about! The longest winless streak in our history was about to end and what a wonderful occasion it was. Spurred on by 150+ fans, Horseman’s Forest Green played with passion, conviction and purpose. This was ‘New FGR’ with a plan, a shape and players who had all read the script and acted on it.
It was so good to see a keeper who commanded his area,  gathered the ball with confidence and punched when needed. The defence was solid, midfield handled the transitions well and the forwards clicked. Captain Dom started the move that led to the win, Tyrese crossed superbly and who else but Matty Stevens headed in. What joy!
Of course it will be a tough season with its share of disappointments. It would not be FGR without a roller coaster of emotions, but ‘WE’RE ON OUR WAY’