Date: 17th November 2018 at 6:08pm
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To mark Forest Green Rovers’ third anniversary of becoming the only Vegan football club on the planet, they baked the cake illustrated in this article and sold it today. Slices £1.90 each; all proceeds to The Vegan Society.

Imagine this happening at Morecambe…

You can’t even buy a Veggie – let alone a Vegan – pie unless you go in the posh bit: which most fans, including Yours Truly, never do.

The Gloucestershire club were also giving away no less than four hundred FGR shirts to kids – no proceeds to anyone; these things were donated to their next generation of supporters FREE. Wow…

Imagine anything like this ever happening at the Globe Arena?

On and off the field, FGR are on a different par to today’s visitors in terms of their vision and plans for the future. Except for their policy as far as Away Fans are treated – in the open with no place to sit down. Other than this, though, they are light years ahead of most football clubs in terms of their ambition and forward planning. No wonder there were rumours that Theresa May was to be seen in the Directors’ Box during the game. But will the person responsible for the way this amazing club is run actually take her offer of the Brexit Secretary’s job? Maybe we’d actually get somewhere if he (or she) actually did…

Forest Green had a poor Conference record against Morecambe, who beat them on a regular basis home and away. But today, the team ninth in League Two had one win and a draw under their belt against the side in twentieth spot in the games they have played since Rovers were promoted to League Two at the beginning of last season.

FGR had a chance in the very first minute of today’s contest when Reuben Reid held the ball up before passing it to Reece Brown who, in turn, fed it to Carl Winchester who strode down the right wing, cut inside and sent a vicious shot just over the visitors’ bar. Theo Archibald then had a shot from distance after a nice turn which was deflected for a corner which Morecambe cleared with eleven minutes played. At the other end, Kevin Ellison slung a cross over to the far past with nineteen minutes on the clock which A-Jay Leitch-Smith got his head to but James Montgomery in the home goal managed to get down and smother his effort. Two minutes later, A-Jay was almost first to reach a deflected ball but Nathan McGinley did well to cover the ground and get to the ball first although his clearance came dangerously close to his own goal. FGR applied some concerted pressure after this but Mark Halstead in the Shrimps’ net was not troubled before Leitch-Smith was again denied by McGinley with Kev ready to pick up the pieces after 34 minutes. There are a lot of Mills around Nailsworth and two of them were on the field today, one on each side. Morecambe’s. Zak tried his luck after 35 minutes with a curling shot from the edge of the penalty area but Montgomery was equal to it before the home team broke, Reid and Archibald combined well only for George Williams’ resultant effort to be sufficiently blocked by Halstead for Steven Old to be able to stop it crossing the Morecambe line: the Kiwi in the all-blue strip managed to boot the ball away from danger. The game swung up the field then and the home goalie made a fine save after 40 minutes from Liam Mandeville only for Farrend Rawson to block the follow-up shot from Vadaine Oliver. A lively half ended with a shot well over the bar from Digby and team-mate Archibald being booked by referee Ben Toner for diving just before the break.

Rovers started on the front foot in the second period and Archibald only just missed with a shot after 49 minutes. But it was almost an hour before they fashioned a half-decent chance: Williams made progress down the Rovers’ left and put in a low cross which eluded the Morecambe goalkeeper but also eluded Archibald as he rushed-in but failed to connect with it. Halstead then saved well from a shot by Carl Winchester shortly afterwards. Mandeville then missed narrowly with an effort at the other end after 58 minutes. With an hour on the clock, Reid was denied by Halstead when he did well to save his fierce shot at the cost of a corner. With sixty-eight minutes played, FGR’s Mills – Joseph -played a dangerous ball into the Shrimps’ far post but the relatively diminutive Aaron Wildig of all people headed the ball away for a corner. The same player came to Morecambe’s rescue again after 72 minutes when he cleared a looping effort from Reid this time away for another corner. Archibald managed to work the ball over the Shrimps wall from a free-kick with 77 minutes played but it was easily fielded by Halstead. Substitute Andrew Tutte warmed Montgomery’s hands with a shot after 83 minutes which the goalkeeper turned-away for as corner. Six minutes later, the substitute tried his luck again, the ball broke to Wildig and the Shrimps’ Captain spun in the penalty area and beat the FGR goalkeeper with a shot which went over Montgomery’s head to put the visitors one goal up. And that was basically it – A-Jay and Digby were booked in the dying moments for a bit of handbags but the Lancashire team were able to hold on to their slim lead right until the end without any serious scares.

So it was the icing on the top of the cake for Jim Bentley’s men tonight. FGR are no pushover and the Morecambe Manager was full of praise for them after the game. But he must be absolutely delighted with the three points today. The win pushed the Shrimps up the table one place to nineteenth. The loss meant that Mark Cooper’s team slipped the same distance to tenth. With bottom two clubs Macclesfield and Notts County – who shipped three goals at home without scoring any – both losing today, the Shrimps found themselves a healthy six points away from the Drop Zone. More importantly, they no longer look like a side which will struggle for the rest of the season.
Forest Green Rovers: 13 James Montgomery; 7 Carl Winchester; 6 Farrend Rawson; 19 Nathan McGinley; 23 Joseph Mills; 20 Paul Digby (Y); 4 Lloyd James (14 Tahven Campbell 70 mins); 11 George Williams; 10 Reece Brown; 18 Theo Archibald (Y); 26 Reuben Reid.

Subs not used: 1 Robert Sanchez; 16 Gavin Gunning; 17 Isaac Pearce; 21 Matt Worthington; 22 Ben Morris.
Morecambe: 21 Mark Halstead; 2 Zak Mills; 16 Sam Lavelle; 5 Steven Old; 3 Luke Conlan; 27 Jordan Cranston; 17 Liam Mandeville (6 Andrew Tutte 66 mins); 11 Kevin Ellison (4 Alex Kenyon 78 mins); 15 Aaron Wildig (C); 28 A-Jay Leitch-Smith (Y); 9 Vadaine Oliver (12 Jason Oswell 82 mins).

Subs not used: 13 Dawid Szczepaniak; 25 Ben Hedley; 14 Josef Yarney;; 19 Carlos Mendes-Gomez.

Ref: Ben Toner
3085 (94 from Morecambe)

 

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