Last gasp Rovers seal a fine win
FOREST GREEN ROVERS secured a fine victory with a last gasp win over Wrexham at the Racecourse Ground which dented the host’s promotion campaign and ensured Forest Green became the only team to do the double over the Welsh side this season, writes Richard Joyce.
James Norwood took advantage of a last minute defensive nightmare at the back from Wrexham to fire in a Rovers winner in front of a vociferous North Wales crowd after Forest Green had come from behind yet again to seal victory.
Tommy Wright replaced Liam Henderson in Dave Hockaday’s starting line up for Rovers whilst Reece Styche returned to the bench in place of the missing Jake Thomson.
The first twenty minutes of the afternoon’s entertainment lacked efforts on goal from both sides at a sun drenched Racecourse Ground until Jamie Collins bundled over Wrexham full back Stephen Wright to hand the hosts a penalty.
Sam Russell, hoping to make it five penalty saves in a row, could do nothing to stop Jake Speight from firing in to the bottom corner though as the former Mansfield man sent Russell the wrong way to put the Welsh side a goal up.
Steven Leslie’s powerful strike from distance a few minutes later for the hosts was only just about bundled away by Russell who was returning to one of his former clubs.
The first period was very much bossed by the hosts and a mistake at the back from the experienced Mark Creighton just past the half hour mark almost offered Rovers a rare chance back in to the game as the defender headed over his own goalkeeper Joslain Mayebi, who was able to stagger back to stop the ball from going over the line.
Rovers first real shot in anger didn’t come until a minute before the break when Yan Klukowski turned brilliantly on the edge of the Wrexham box and unleashed a right footed effort that whistled past the post.
Within seconds of the second half beginning, Rovers had Mathias Pogba to thank for an awful attempt at a finish when the attacker managed to sky over following good work by Wrexham player-manager Andy Morell.
Meanwhile it was James Norwood who produced Rovers first shot on goal in the second period but the 21 year olds low strike on the hour mark was easily stopped by Mayebi.
Moments later however Rovers were level with possibly one of the most effective substitutions of the season.
Kieron Forbes left the field to be replaced by Michael Pook who within seconds of coming on threaded a fine long distance through ball to Matty Taylor with his first touch and Taylor demonstrated the coolness that saw him bag a brace against Luton on Tuesday by rounding Mayebi and slotting in a Rovers equaliser.
The Wrexham response was from their substitute, Adrian Cieslewicz, who put in the cross that led to Russell pulling off a great stop to prevent Pogba from heading in to the bottom corner whilst Morell planted a header against the bar a couple of minutes later for the hosts.
The game entered a tense final ten minutes with Wrexham’s promotion push hanging in the balance with a 4000 plus crowd willing on the hosts but it would be Forest Green who would end the afternoon on top.
A long ball over the top was picked up by the tenacious Norwood after a defensive clanger at the back and the former Exeter City man swooped in past Mayebi to seal Forest Green a fantastic victory and a season double over their Welsh hosts.