Colchester United’s first-ever visit to the world’s first vegan football club
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Forest Green Rovers simply love playing at home, and that’s got nothing to do with the Gloucestershire club’s well-publicised eco-friendly stance, with its entirely organic pitch, the solar panels on the roof of the stand, and the vegan pies.
Rovers might do things differently, under the guidance of chairman Dale Vince – they are effectively the world’s first vegan football club – but they also have a fantastic recent home record on the pitch.
In fact, it’s results at The New Lawn, since early January, that are likely to prevent Rovers from becoming just one-year wonders in the Football League, following their promotion via the play-offs last season.
Mark Cooper’s men have won six of their last seven home matches, an 18-point haul which has nudged them away from the drop zone.
They are currently six points and two places clear of the bottom two, despite not playing on Good Friday due to a waterlogged pitch at Yeovil.
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That match was postponed on Friday morning, although Cooper made sure that the day was not wasted by taking a training session down in Somerset, ahead of tomorrow’s first-ever visit of Colchester.
The Cotswolds club have only won two away games all season, the joint poorest record along with relegation-haunted Chesterfield, but on home turf they are 13th in the standings with nine home victories, the same number as Colchester.
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Mansfield Town, Crawley Town, Stevenage, Coventry, Cambridge and Port Vale have all suffered defeats at The New Lawn in recent weeks, a record only spoilt by Notts County’s 2-1 success.
Striker Christian Doidge, the leading scorer with 21 goals (16 in the league) is available again after injury, as Rovers look to avenge a 5-1 hammering at the Community Stadium from last August.
It should be an interesting day for U’s fans visiting The New Lawn for the first time.
Red meat has long been banned from the menus, as has fish, the club going entirely vegan in 2015.
That means no animal products of any description inside the stadium, with not even cow’s milk allowed with your cup of tea. Instead, a popular meal is a Quorn-and-leek pie, washed down with either with vegan lager or cider.