EFL Sky Bet League Two - The New Lawn -Saturday 5th August 2017 – KO 3pm
Barnet only picked up a handful of injuries during our pre-season campaign. Richard Brindley (foot) and is doubtful. Michael Nelson (ankle) and Curtis Weston (calf) are back in first team training.
Last Time We Met:
The two sides last met in our Conference winning season of 2014/15, with Forest Green running out 3-1 winners at The Hive London. The Bees took the lead through a John Akinde penalty but were pegged back through strikes from Bennet, Parkin and Guthrie.
The last time we travelled to the Gloucestershire side saw us snatch three points in the third minute of injury time after a bullet header from Bondz Ngala.
Mark Cooper successfully guided Rovers into the Football League for the first time in the clubs history following a 3-1 play-off final victory at Wembley over Tranmere Rovers.
Cooper, 48, started his playing career in the youth system at Bristol City. The journeyman midfielder made 457 appearances playing for 17 clubs from Exeter in the south-west to Hartlepool in the north-east, scoring 115 times.
Towards the tail end of his career, he was appointed player/assistant manager at Tamworth and soon after player/manager. He played 104 times for the Midlands club, scoring 31 and helped guide the club to successive FA Cup Third Round appearances.
During his 13 year managerial career, Cooper has been at 9 clubs, including Peterborough United, Swindon Town and Notts County.
Captain of their play-off winning side, Liam Noble is a major cog in the Forest Green Rovers machine. Scoring on 9 occasions and providing 24 assists, keeping the 26-year-old midfielder quiet will be a tough task.
He was subject to a bid from Notts County last month, which led to a bitter war of words between the two clubs chairmen. It resulted in Noble signing a contract extension with Rovers until 2020.
Midfielder Keanu Marsh-Brown made 53 appearances for the Bees, scoring 14 times and was a popular player among the Barnet faithful.
He fell out of favour in the 2014-15 season and at the turn of the year joined Forest Green where he has gone on to make 76 appearances.
Charlie Clough joined Barnet from Forest Green during the January transfer window last season and has since been ever present in the Barnet back line. He had made 83 appearances for over a two year spell.
Goalkeeper Jamie Stephens grew up under 10 miles away from Nailsworth and started his career in their youth system.
Last Time Out:
In their final first-team pre-season friendly, Forest Green ran out 3-1 winners away at Evo-Stik South Division 1 West side Swindon Supermarine.
Rovers opted to field two teams across the match but it was the hosts who took an early lead from the penalty spot.
The match was tied in the 30th minute after Christian Doidge headed home. Shortly after the restart, Shamir Mullings stuck to give Forest Green the lead before he doubled their advantage in the 70th minute with a calm low finish into the bottom corner.
Forest Green Rovers:
1st half -B.Collins, L.Collins, Monthe, Iacovitti (James, 26), Bennett (Evans, 39), Laird, Cooper, Traore, Brown, Noble, Doidge.
2nd half - Russell, Evans, Fitzwater, Hallet, Wishart, Simpson, Trialist, Marsh-Brown, Bugiel, James (Morris 73), Mullings
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