Not the fictional public house on the long-running British soap opera Coronation Street, but another chance to play Forest Green Rovers in the Blue Square Premier League (last time was FA Cup). They come to Dartford for a 7.45 p.m. kick off, a three-hour trip from Gloucester and then back again. The Rovers, aka The Lawnmowers, lost out to Port Vale in their attempt to progress in the FA Cup. Just as Dartford lost out to Port Vale last year. Tonight’s Match Sponsors are Homebase, so let’s hope Dartford can do them proud and give FGR a pasting, nail a few goals, and pull the blinds down on the previous encounters!
To quote FGR Manager David Hockaday and carry on the DIY theme:
“We are doing everything but nailing the results at the moment which I’m totally convinced will come.”
Sixth-placed Rovers lost 2-1 to the Luton Hatters last time out and will be desperate to arrest a four-game losing streak at Princes Park. Regrettably FGR managed to scrape a win in a rather hostile, ugly match and give Dartford a hammering. Two red cards, one for Harry Crawford (Dartford) and shortly after for Jamie Turley (Forest Green Rovers) evened things up. Forest Green report that Turley’s sending off was for “a supposed off the ball incident”, but as far as anyone could see it was a lot more than ‘supposed’. Obviously the linesman agreed. But for me it was interesting that Forest Green still seemed to keep good control of the ball, even if not really playing football, and make Dartford run around after it. Forest Green were very good at defending their half of the pitch and making it really difficult for Dartford to invade close enough to score. Every time Dartford got the ball, there would be two FGR players onto them – sticking to them like glue – still the DIY theme!
Dartford had plenty of goal scoring opportunities, but somehow managed to put the ball wide or saved by the FGR goalie who, incidentally, seemed determined to waste time during the entire match wandering around before putting the ball down, then ambling back before finally giving it the boot. The Ref, rather late in the game, gave him a yellow card for such blatant time wasting. And these are supposed to be ‘professional’ players. Not so much ‘fireworks’ as FGR’s Richard Joyce reports, more like a damp squib. So Dartford came away sore – or should that be sawn? They were lumbered with a loss, a case of scrape yourself up and stick at it – oh dear, time to stop now, I think …