Rovers away form continues
DAVE Hockaday’s Forest Green side claimed the scalp of another former Football League club with a thoroughly professional showing at Edgeley Park, writes Richard Joyce.
This followed a chaotic start to the day’s proceedings as several accidents and heavy congestion on the M6 scuppered Rovers pre match preparation which led to the game kicking off an hour later than scheduled.
Backed by 51 loyal Rovers supporters, it was Rovers who set off the quickest as James Rowe picked up the ball on the edge of the box and fired in a 25 yard effort which Stockport keeper Matt Glennon initially spilled before cleaning up moments later.
Jon Routledge fluffed an effort wide for the hosts and John Miles then blasted over for County following a defensive clearance by Eddie Oshodi which fell to the Stockport number 10.
And Miles was trying his luck once again when his powerfully struck attempt from the edge of the box was palmed away by James Bittner with one hand.
Rovers response on the half hour mark saw James Norwood’s diving header easily stopped by Glennon after Chris Stokes had swung a ball in to the box.
Six minutes later however it was Norwood who turned provider and the summer signing from Exeter City drilled a superb low cross in to the middle which was brilliantly dispatched by Yan Klukowski to hand Rovers the lead.
Klukowski was in the thick of the action again a few moments later when a well-timed through ball found the goal scorer who failed to apply the finish in the final action of a lively first half.
Midfielder Routledge was again causing the Rovers defence problems in the second half although his weak poked effort just a couple of minutes in to the second period was easily dealt with by Bittner.
A scramble in the box at the other end a few minutes later saw Oshodi have his close range effort well stopped by Glennon and a Forest Green cross in to the box moments later saw Charlie Griffin direct a header over the Stockport goal.
Norwood, using his pace when playing as the lone striker, then fluffed a number of key chances as Rovers searched for a second with Glennon in the County goal pulling off several key stops.
In the closing stages of the 90 minutes it was Routledge again for the hosts who had the opportunity to find the back of the net but he fired wide left of Bittner’s goal after the ball had dropped to him inside the box.
With seven minutes of injury time shown by the officials, Rovers closed the game out brilliantly and had one of their best opportunities to double the score line when the hard working Al Bangura threaded another ball through the Stockport defence but Glennon again denied Norwood with a fantastic stop.
Attendance: 3391 (51 Forest Green Rovers fans)