FOREST GREEN ROVERS' strong start to the campaign on the field has been reflected off the field - with crowd numbers up 36 per cent on last season.

After nine home league matches, Rovers' fluid attacking brand of football combined with some favourable home ties during a more successful cup run has seen 13,897 people through the gates at The New Lawn compared to 10,200 last season, including home cup ties.

Even if you discard the two extra home cup games, league crowds are still up nine per cent with the team currently lying fourth in the Blue Square Premier having scored 21 goals in their first nine home league games.

Manager David Hockaday said: "I'm delighted to see that the crowds are up by 36 per cent - that is a tribute to the way my players are performing and the results.

"My brief here is to build something, so we have a plan in place and the cornerstone to this plan is to play football with the ball on the ground and to be brave.

"When we have the ball, we want to attack at every opportunity and score more goals that the opposition. If at this leaves us open to counter-attack sometimes, then so be it.

"I'm incredibly proud of my players showing the necessary bravery to play in all sorts of conditions and under all sorts of pressure.

"And yet this bravery is being rewarded with great performances and results.

"It's fantastic that the fans are recognising these assets and are starting more and more to get behind the players during games.

"The word is: come to The New Lawn and see football how it should be played - by a very young, honest and athletic group of players. "Bring your friends and tell them to bring their friends. Let's break all records this year."

Hockaday is set to name striker Nathaniel Jarvis in his side to face Nuneaton Town at the New Lawn on Saturday, 3pm.

Jarvis was handed a watching brief for the FA Trophy tie against AFC Totton last Saturday, but will be available to play up to eight games before the deal expires following Rovers’ league match at Hyde on January 5.

  • Meanwhile, Rovers have been drawn another home tie for Round Two of the FA Trophy against Blue Square Bet North outfit Gainsbrough Trinity.
  • Half-price season tickets will go on sale at The New Lawn from Saturday, December 1, which will be valid for all home league games from the Newport County game on Boxing Day.