When Plan B came good

JUST IN: The Green Light with FGR fan John Light

JUST IN: The Green Light with FGR fan John Light

First published in Gloucestershire Sport by

There is a Plan B! Many doubt Rovers have one, but was not the fight-back at Barrow exactly that?

“We changed the formation” said manager Hockaday in his post match press conference, praising the team’s effort in the last 20 minutes. He is always honest on such occasions and added that for much of the match Barrow looked as if they wanted victory more than FGR.

Was this down to so much negative talk beforehand? Statements I heard all week such as, bogey team, poor pitch, and hostile crowd. I am sure the players did also. Perhaps they began to believe some of the negative publicity.

Whatever happened we are third. We have earned a valuable away point and if asked in August where we would be now, how many of us would have predicted that?

Our planned progress to the play-offs continues. It will be a stop start journey, but I believe the destination will be one that causes rejoicing. So much so I am writing this from Cornwall. Changes in the Light family holiday dates have been made to keep May clear.

Next Saturday brings Totton to the New Lawn. This should mean a chance to rest a few regulars and give other squad members a game.

Will Matt Bulman get the chance to show us his fine kicking? Will we see OJ and Jared play for 90 minutes? Will the ill-fated Chris Todd be able to do the same? Can Brogan and Rowe play in the same team? The answer to the latter question may be no, as their roles are too similar.

I hope Brogan gets the call as his free- kicks are leading to goals.

My overview of the FA Trophy is quite simple, we should of course try and win every game, but this competition enables squad players to gain valuable match experience. Anyway whatever team is selected it should be good enough to take us forward.

Friends who have watched Totton tell me they have two very quick skilful forwards and will offer us a fair challenge. As we savour an away point, Newport must be reeling. A “blow up” there was anticipated, but this is one of nuclear nature. They are sure to spend heavily in the transfer window, but it may be too late by then.

A realistic view must be taken of the transfer window.

Departures would only happen if both player and club wished them to happen, and that would only happen if another club came calling. If there are any January changes they will be minimal.

Two well known names featured in the news this week, Jefferson Louis and Wayne Hatswell. Both played for FGR and made very different contributions, in their own way, however they have contributed to our love of non-league football. Jefferson with his many clubs (is it now 30?) and Wayne with his mature contribution, wherever he has played.

If Jefferson has kept a diary he should consider publishing it and any club seeking a senior coach should consider Wayne. Both still have much to offer, but if they do vanish from view – thanks for the memories gentleman.

The next fortnight will give the players and management time to look forward to the remainder of the league programme. One thing must be addressed, that is motivation or determination – call it what you will.

At the outset of this article I stated confidence in a play-off position being obtained and statistically that is well within our grasp.

Dave Hockaday is always honest after matches and if he says as he did on Saturday “sometimes it seems they wanted it more” does this not indicate a problem? One surely for him to solve? We all know the phrase “give us the tools and we will finish the job”. I am confident about both the tools and the finish, but consistency must be achieved in both attitude and results. We are too close to fail.

In closing I offer a word of thanks to Trevor Horsley. He has showed the size of his heart by sponsoring the supporters fish and chips on the Barrow return journey. I have had withdrawal symptoms all day about not being at Holker Street. I would have loved to have partaken of his generosity. Rick Stein’s chip shop will have to do.

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