Rampant Rovers secure fine win
FOREST Green secured their first ever league win over Luton Town in triumphant style as Yan Klukowski and a Matty Taylor brace fired Rovers to victory, writes Richard Joyce.
The return of Jamie Collins from suspension in place of Jake Thomson who dropped to the bench was Forest Green’s only change as Dave Hockaday’s men aimed for a quick response to the disappointing home defeat to Hayes & Yeading just a few days earlier.
As is so often the case, Rovers dominated the early exchanges with Yan Klukowski dragging a shot wide a couple of minutes in whilst Matty Taylor’s first chance of the evening led to a corner which saw Jamie Collins head wide.
Liam Henderson was the first to test Luton shot stopper Mark Tyler after committed work by James Norwood ensured the ball fell to the on loan York City man whose right footed scooped shot was easily collected by Tyler.
The threat of the visitors attack was fully illustrated on the quarter of an hour mark as former Rovers hero Stuart Fleetwood took advantage of Eddie Oshodi’s mistake at the back and unleashed a direct run towards goal only to be foiled by the brilliance of Forest Green keeper Sam Russell.
It was the hosts who would then take advantage of some slack defending as Taylor intercepted the experienced Keith Keane’s back pass to Tyler only to find the stretch too far as the Rovers centre forward could only find the side netting.
Just after the half hour mark Yan Klukowski’s potency in front of goal ensured it would be Forest Green who were the first to hit the back of the net.
Tremendous Rovers build up play saw Kieron Forbes thread a tidy ball through to the on rushing Klukowski and Forest Green’s top goal scorer this season netted past Tyler into the corner.
And on the stroke of half time a terrific bursting run forward from his own half by left back Chris Stokes presented the ex-Bolton man, making his 51st league appearance for Rovers, with the chance to produce an effort on goal but his effort rolled just wide.
An early chance for the visitors at the start of the second period was easily dealt with whilst a few minutes later at the other end Forest Green launched their first effort of the half when Taylor and Norwood linked up well for the latter to direct a volley just wide.
The introduction of Thomson off the bench midway through the half provided the second period with a rare foray towards goal as the former Trinidad & Tobago international linked up well with Jared Hodgkiss and Norwood to fire an effort on target that was deflected out for a corner.
The game had entered a brief lull before Thomson’s chance but the security of Rovers second just a few minutes later was enough to reignite the evening’s entertainment.
A fantastic break forward from Norwood after Rovers had cleared the ball saw the former Exeter City attacker feed Taylor perfectly and the front man coolly took his time to side step a defender and place his shot in the top corner to hand Rovers some breathing space.
And Taylor was quick to almost extend the Rovers lead even further minutes later as his run and powerfully struck low effort on goal was stopped by Tyler who could do nothing to prevent the fox in the box from adding a third right at the end.
An Oshodi break forward in to acres of space led to the ball finding its way to Taylor who showed the composure of a striker who looks set to blossom in the Blue Square Bet Premier.
He rounded the helpless Tyler and stroked in to raise the roof on the New Lawn and to secure another feather in the cap of humbled Football League sides for Forest Green Rovers.