Dominant Rovers seal victory at Chester
Goals from midfield duo Liam Noble and Darren Carter made it six consecutive wins for Forest Green Rovers at Chester, writes Richard Joyce.
Rovers’ moved to the top of the National League table as a goal in either half proved to be enough for what was also FGR’s seventh win on the bounce against the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium side.
Noble scored his first for the club, while Carter added to his goal a week before at Maidstone United, however Chester did threaten a comeback that was confidently extinguished after Elliott Durrell had slammed home late on.
Mark Cooper’s side dominated the occasion from the early exchanges. Kieffer Moore, starting up front after his brace on Monday against Southport, had a good chance early on with a header from a Noble free kick but he couldn’t keep his effort down.
The former Viking striker glanced another headed effort wide on 20 minutes shortly before Rovers took the lead through Noble’s first in an FGR shirt.
His fierce free kick from a wide position was too hot to handle, and found itself settled in the back of the net.
Forest Green’s possession of the ball continued, and ten minutes from half time another good opportunity fell to Moore but he was unable to hook home acrobatically after Ben Jefford’s brave header had flown across the six yard box.
Chester had a fantastic opportunity to draw level just before half time. Durrell’s low free kick was gloved away superbly by Sam Russell who was at his best to keep the shot out.
Rovers’ would bag a second not long into the second half, but Kane Richards firstly had a shot on goal for the hosts that was drilled wide, before Carter doubled the advantage.
A composed build up of passes saw FGR expertly work the ball to the former Birmingham City midfielder whose finish from outside the area was superbly placed out of reach of the home side’s keeper Jon Worsnop.
Former Alfreton stopper Worsnop was then called upon to make a key double save on 71 minutes. He saved well from recently introduced substitute Matt Tubbs, and then blocked Keanu Marsh-Brown’s follow up effort.
The control Cooper’s men had enjoyed throughout the day was for the first time dented ten minutes before the finish when Chester got one back. Durrell was the man who got it after he turned excellently in the box following Jordan Chappell’s good work.
For the first time FGR were under pressure to hang onto their lead, and after Noble had seen a free kick from 30 yards go narrowly over, the composed Ethan Pinnock was called upon to make a much needed headed clearance off the line as Chester pushed to draw parity.
From that point onwards Rovers successfully saw the game out, deservedly holding onto three points for the sixth time in a row as the second month of the season got off to an impressive start.
Report: Richard Joyce
Photo: Alan Franklin