THERE is a football chant, often uttered in hope rather than certainty. It begins ‘and now you’re going to believe us’ and I have found myself uttering it ever since 5pm on Saturday. It ends ‘now we’re going to win the league’.
After watching Forest Green win at Macclesfield on Saturday I believe this can happen.
In an outstanding game FGR smashed Macclesfield’s 100 per cent home record (4 wins, goals for 8, against 1), by winning a fine open contest 2-1.
On a first class playing surface both teams played open attacking football, anxious to entertain and, of course, anxious to win the game.
There was no time wasting, no playing for a draw, no ‘we have come to get a result’ mentality. Someone should tell football folk that phrase is ridiculous because win, draw or defeat are all results. Too often this silly phrase means we have come to grind out a draw. This attitude bores us all.
None of that on Saturday. It was end-to-end football, and perhaps the best performance I have seen from FGR.
With exciting players like Klukowski and Norwood not fully fit and Reece Styche on the bench, I feared the worst. Instead we got the best. Picking a man of the match was impossible – all the players were candidates.
Newcomer Stephen Brogan, looking every inch a footballer started the move, and then finished it. A surprise, but welcome signing his foot balling skills may be the missing link.
This match was the sort we would love to see every week. Played in good weather on a good pitch both sides tried to win by playing open attractive football. It was splendid entertainments, but there were some sour off the field moments.
The recent Hillsborough report has shown the true dignity of soccer fans, but we all know there is still a lunatic fringe.
To chant ‘cheat – cheat’ as Kieron Forbes was carried off on a stretches is indefensible. I cannot repeat in this newspaper some of the individual insults hurled at Rovers players. After the winning goal one spectator advanced towards James Norwood. He certainly was not going to congratulate him on his haircut. Nothing James or the other watching FGR players had done anything noticeable to provoke such action. Being just a few feet away I had a good view.
Prompt action by stewards removed this gentleman from the ground, but could do nothing to prevent the vicious invective directed at the FGR players at the end of the game.
The majority of our fans were in a different stand and experienced a warm Macclesfield welcome, much more typical of the club.
As the coach left rural Cheshire the sun was setting . By the time we reached the hills of the West Midlands (Clee, Clent and Malvern) the sky was flowing red, like the embers of a warm fire. It mirrored my mood – one of genuine delight in watching a club I love play so well.
On Friday night, Lincoln City visit the New Lawn. I anticipate the season’s largest crowd.