For one of these Rovers, the season will soon be over. Be assured that this won’t be a little romp in the postseason clover. The team that keeps their composure will find themselves at the Wembley enclosure. The losers? With literal and financial hangovers.
These two clubs, with very different propositions, find themselves in very similar positions.
The other is a one-village team hailing from gentile Cotswolds. Based upon an ecological ideology, they have found themselves drawing the ire of other fans – if not for their vegan diets, certainly for their success on the pitch.
You can probably guess which one’s which.
Yet here they are. Tranmere Rovers from Birkenhead in Liverpool and Forest Green Rovers from Nailsworth, finishing 6th and 5th on the table respectively, with Forest Green earning a mere point more over 46 matches than Tranmere. These teams met in the National League (Editor’s note: nothing to do with baseball) playoff final in 2017, with the Rovers of the green taking the spoils that year.
They resume hostilities again this year, as they vye for another promotion up into League One, and the associated financial windfall.
Important information about the match
The matches can be viewed on iFollow in the United States, and in the UK. First leg at Tranmere’s Prenton Park is Friday May 10th at 2:45 PM ET/7:45 PM GMT. The return match at The New Lawn is scheduled for Monday May 13th at 2:45 PM ET/7:45 PM GMT.
Referee assignments are To Be Determined.
Five points that should not be overlooked
This is a relatively new rivalry. These teams have only met on seven previous occasions. Of those meetings, Forest Green is on top, with 4 wins, 1 loss and 2 draws.
Tranmere’s run of form going into this game is a little less than awful, having only one win in their last seven matches. Forest Green has fared significantly better – unbeaten in five of their past six games. One of those victories included a 1-0 victory over the White Rovers a month ago.
Forest Green have by far been the most productive in front of goal compared to Tranmere, lead up-front by 26-year-old striker, Christian Doidge, with 14 goals. In fact, he has been the most productive striker for FGR over the past three seasons.
Tranmere striker, James Norwood, is having a statement year in League 2, scoring an incredible 31 goals in 50 appearances across all games for the Whites this year. The former Forest Green forward (you read that right) is responsible for nearly half of Tranmere’s goals this season.
Tranmere are missing defenders Mark Ellis and Liam Ridehalgh, along with Manchester United Youth Academy midfielder, Luke McCullough. These injuries have the Whites relying on unproven talent.
Based on the recent run of form, it’s going to be an uphill for the Rovers of the white. Will their season be over one week into the playoffs? No. That will happen in the second leg on Monday, away to the green team.
Leg one: Tranmere Rovers 1-0 Forest Green Rovers
Leg two: Forest Green Rovers 2-0 Tranmere Rovers
Aggregate: Forest Green Rovers 2 – 1 Tranmere Rovers