Rovers record fantastic win
FOREST Green Rovers secured a third consecutive league victory in eye-catching fashion as Dave Hockaday’s men thumped strugglers Alfreton Town at The New Lawn, writes Richard Joyce.
Front man Matty Taylor opened his goal scoring account for the club with a fine second half hat-trick as Rovers boss Hockaday handed newly signed loanee Jonathan Bond a debut in goal.
Having recently struggled for goals it was clear from the off that Rovers were looking for an early break through as visiting goalkeeper Joseph Day was tested by a third minute diving header from Taylor and a long distance strike from Al Bangura.
Bangura was at it again a few minutes later but his effort skittled well wide until Alfreton had their first effort on goal when Josh Law drilled a free kick well over the bar.
Day was called in to action again for the visitors a couple of minutes later as Yan Klukowski tried to steer a close range effort in from a Taylor cross, and in the 29th minute Rovers did finally have the ball in the back of the net, but it was cancelled out by referee Karl Evans for a foul on the goalkeeper.
Both sides went in to the break with the score line untouched although the second half burst in to life early on as Rovers took a deserved lead.
James Rowe’s free kick fell to Charlie Griffin in the box and the tall front man had his effort on goal parried away by Day only to fall to Taylor who stabbed in his first goal in a Rovers shirt.
Both Klukowski and Taylor spurned chances a few minutes later until just after the hour mark when the visitors found a leveller through Anthony Wilson who fired powerfully past Bond after Law had advanced superbly to set the visitors front man up.
Rovers response was swift and the home side again had the ball in the back of the net only for it to be ruled out once again when Klukowski knocked in a Forbes cross which had been judged by the linesman to have gone out of play.
The hosts then produced a five minute period that would change the game which was started off by Chris Stokes who narrowly fired over from the edge of the box after fantastic interplay by Rovers saw Griffin present Stokes with his chance.
Two minutes later and Rovers persistence finally paid dividends as a Rowe corner found Eddie Oshodi whose neat header was tucked away brilliantly by the lively Taylor to put the home side ahead.
And within minutes Rovers had their third and Taylor his hat-trick as the recent signing from Southern League outfit North Leigh turned brilliantly in the box with his back to goal to fire in a bottom corner effort.
Rovers goal scoring commitments had not stopped there however as with the clock ticking terrific work by Kieron Forbes late on saw the former Watford midfielder win the ball in the Alfreton box and coolly cross for Griffin who tapped in at the far post to seal a tremendous home win for Rovers.