Report by Danny Hall after friendly against FGR
CHARLIE GRIFFIN is keen to sign 23-year-old Birmingham-born 'keeper Raajan Gill after what he described as a 'superb' display – despite conceding four goals – in the Tuesday-night friendly with Mark Cooper's Forest Green Rovers.
Gill was with Leicester City until the age of 18 and his other clubs have included Kettering Town, Tamworth FC and Bedworth Utd. While playing in the Bedworth v Cirencester Town game last season, Gill conceded the only goal of the game – scored by Griffin.
Free agent Gill has also played in Spain for CF Cadiz and CF Federico Mayo and he had been training with Wolves until the arrival last week of new manager Paul Lambert. In January of this year Gill represented the Panjab FA team which got to the final of the ConIFA World Football Cup, losing in the final to Abkhazia on penalties.
Gill made an eye-catching penalty save from Matt Tubbs of FGR in the opening half but had little chance with the four goals put past him.
Cirencester, who were missing their two most recent signings – Sam Hunt (stuck in traffic) and Jason Milhench (work commitments) – started the game brightly and twice led before succumbing 4-2 to their slicker National League opponents.
Kalum Youngsam, a product of the FGR Academy, shot Ciren into the lead in the 22nd minute, reacting well after Simon Lefebvre had done well to parry Ross Langworthy's fierce drive. Ten minutes later Ciren central defender Ben Brown almost scored with an intended back pass for the second game in a row. Gill sprinted back to keep the ball out of the net but he clipped the predatory Tubbs as he was attempting to clear.
The Brummie 'keeper then made a fine save to his right from a powerfully struck Tubbs spot kick. Three minutes later Tubbs made amends with a fine finish off a Wade Elliott delivery.
Right on half-time it was the hosts who took the lead when an inswinging free kick from Ollie Knight was flicked on by Max Lloyd and Brown finished well at the back post.
Full-timers Forest Green hit back with three second-half goals from former Swindon Town ace Fabian Robert and Tubbs (2) to run out deserved winners in a productive exercise for both sides.
Griffin also gave a start to former Bristol City youngster Henry Spalding, the son of one-time Cirencester Town full back Lee Spalding, and the triallist had a tidy game in the centre of midfield. Griffin was thwarted in his bid to use a striker on trial by a late injury but he is confident of having a front man in on loan for Saturday's league game at Biggleswade.
"I'd love it to be Matt Tubbs," joked Griffin, "but my chairman would have nightmares at the prospect of his wages."