Greener on Cooper's Hill
Simon Weaver’s Harrogate Town have been extremely good as League Two newboys this season, the team have had to play away from their home due to redevelopments, suffered some injuries to key players and have one of the smallest budgets in the division. Yet the long term gaffer who applied for the job having seen an advert in the local paper has proven he can mix it at League Two level, Town are 10th six points off the playoffs. Mark Cooper’s Forest Green Rovers have been automatic promotion fodder all campaign longer and are not showing any signs of nerves now at the business end of the season.
The division is insanely evenly matched and as a result of that you rarely see a team at a short price to win a game. FGR have been unlucky not to be clearer of the chasing pack, drawing too many matches that they could have won and it looks like the top three race will go down to the final day. Cooper has an array of attacking talent at his disposal, squad wise they are huge compared to Harrogate, despite Weaver’s well drilled machine, the quality is firmly with the Green. In terms of expected goals process they sit top of the three and have remained in the top few all season long, Town have fluctuated showing some poor form before a run of four wins in five including four clean sheets has them setting their sights on a dream playoff finish.
We are at the stage of the season when teams who have something to play for are a lot tougher than the ones that do not, now Harrogate still have an outside chance of sneaking into the top seven but it is not like they have to fight for every point. Survival would have been the main objective this term and Weaver has comfortably assured that. A win could put the Green top, with them sitting just one point behind local rivals Cheltenham Town and this squad is hungry enough to get them over the line.
A tempting option to go overs, both sides have been clinical off late though having said that, it is two in form teams that could cancel each other out.
- FGR have scored in eight of 10.
- FGR have conceded in six of 10.
- FGR have seen both teams score in five of 10.
- FGR have seen over 2.5 goals in seven of 10.
- Harrogate have scored in eight of 10.
- Harrogate have conceded in five of 10, but just one of six.
- Harrogate have seen both teams score in three of 10.
- Harrogate have seen over 2.5 goals in four of 10.
The hosts are in a great position to kick on with a win here, Cooper likes to play on the front foot and they should grind Harrogate down.