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Forest Green Rovers and Ipswich Town are expected to compete at opposite ends of the League One table this season, although it was the newly promoted hosts who began their 2022-23 campaign with a win last time out. On Saturday, however, it is Kieran McKenna’s visitors who will likely be well-backed to kick-start a widely anticipated promotion push.
Indeed, Ipswich have lost just two of their last 18 league matches after McKenna made a terrific impact upon his appointment last December, keeping 10 clean sheets in that run and only conceding multiple goals once. McKenna’s men were unfortunate to only claim a point after dominating Bolton Wanderers last time out, and are bidding to extend a seven-match unbeaten run on the road here.
Forest Green, meanwhile, are targeting survival after losing boss Rob Edwards and a host of key players since last season’s promotion, during which they averaged two points per game at home. Ian Burchnall’s reign began with a 2-1 win at fellow promoted outfit Bristol Rovers, although facing one of the third tier’s promotion favourites represents a different proposition.
Forest Green may struggle
Having added the likes of Leif Davis, Marcus Harness and Freddie Ladapo during the summer, Ipswich look well-primed for a serious attempt at promotion from English football’s third tier, and should have too much for Forest Green.
Meanwhile, only League One’s top three teams conceded fewer goals than Ipswich in the division last term (46), and their strong rearguard could help them to a 2-0 win at the New Lawn.
Former Notts County boss Ian Burchnall is head coach at New Lawn. He was appointed in May and has previously coached in Sweden and Norway.
He is expecting Town to provide his side with a good test.
“They’re a massive club. I think they had, what, 26,000 at their place on their opening game, an amazing atmosphere, I watched the game.. You can see the quality they have, they’re a high quality team.
“Since Kieran McKenna has gone in there he’s got them playing some good football, they’re strong across the park, good without the ball, they press well.
“But with it they commit a lot of numbers forward, are very attack-minded and get a lot of bodies in the box when they create crossing opportunities.”
The Bolt New Lawn might look like any other football stadium, but at Forest Green, they do things slightly differently.
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The entire club is powered by 100% green energy from Ecotricity, some of which the Club generates itself with the solar panels on their stadium roof and the solar tracker at the ground entrance.
The pitch is organic, sustainable and free from pesticides and weed killers, while the grass is cut with a GPS-directed, solar-powered lawnmower!
The Club collects rainwater that lands on the stadium and uses it to irrigate the pitch rather than using mains water and they have EV charge points, to allow sustainable travel to all games and provide electric car charge points at the ground.
And if Town fans were hoping for a steak and kidney pie at half-time, they can forget that.