Newport trip earns Rovers a point
FOREST Green picked up a useful point on the road as Rovers and Newport came face to face for a fourth time this season, writes Richard Joyce.
Rovers manager Dave Hockaday handed Sam Russell his debut in goal following the Middlesbrough born shot stoppers transfer from Darlington last week as Rovers returned to action a fortnight after their last outing at Field Mill.
And it was Russell who played a part in Rovers first attempt on goal as the keepers long punt forward was headed towards the target by Jamie Turley with the ball eventually going out for a resultant corner which saw the visitors come even closer to hitting the back of the net.
Jake Thomson’s well placed corner kick was met by the surging Chris Stokes and the full back headed the corner across goal and against the post.
Newport then had the ball in the back of the net on the quarter of an hour mark only for it to be cancelled out by referee Andy Davies for a foul on Russell in the box after Nat Jarvis had stuck the ball in.
Liam Henderson then produced his first effort of the game shortly after when the on loan front man made Newport keeper Glyn Thompson get down low to pull off a stop after Yan Klukowski had ploughed his way through the County defence.
The first half’s major incident came shortly after the half hour mark when the hosts were reduced to ten men as centre back Ismail Yakubu was handed an early shower.
The former AFC Wimbledon defender picked up a second yellow card for blocking the hard running James Norwood when through on goal and the hosts would be forced to spend the hour left of the game with just ten men.
Russell was called upon in first half stoppage time to prevent Lee Minshull from heading in a County corner as the score line remained untouched heading in to the break.
An early 25 yard effort from Elliot Buchanan after the break for the hosts did nothing to concern Russell although he was on guard to save a Jarvis header after a good Newport move just after the hour mark.
On a tricky surface both sides struggled to create in front of goal although Rovers centre back pairing of Eddie Oshodi and Jamie Turley proved how effective they have been this season with a thoroughly clean performance at the back.
In search of a goal, Rovers switched things around with a number of attacking substitutions and it was Rovers first substitute of the afternoon, Michael Uwezu, who provided the travelling support with a rare attempt on goal as the Nigerian scooped a shot wide.
With the end of the game closing in Forest Green missed out on the opportunity to have another chance to fire in a final chance on goal as Rovers second trip to South Wales this season ended goalless.
Picture: Shane Healey