Late goals deny Rovers at the death
Two late goals saw Forest Green’s eleven match unbeaten run come to an abrupt end against second place Lincoln City at The New Lawn, writes Richard Joyce.
A lunchtime kick-off for the BT Sport cameras looked all but set to see Rovers extend their marvellous run at the top of the table after Christian Doidge and Keanu Marsh-Brown had put Mark Cooper’s men two goals up.
However the Imps fought back to end their run of consecutive defeats against FGR. Alex Woodyard drew a goal back for them, and they then equalised on 89 minutes when Luke Waterfall blasted home.
And they capped their victory to silence The New Lawn crowd when Sean Raggett rose highest in the box to nod home in stoppage time.
It had been Forest Green who dominated the early exchanges with Darren Carter forcing two good opportunities that saw the former West Bromwich Albion man see his header saved by Paul Farman, and powerful strike go just over the bar.
After Lincoln’s strike duo of Matt Rhead and Theo Robinson had combined for the latter to fire on the Rovers goal, the games first goal saw Doidge head FGR in front.
He got on the end of Daniel Wishart’s excellent delivery from the left hand side to open the scoring.
Waterfall attempted to equalise for the away side, only to see his effort tipped over by Russell, while at the opposite end of the pitch Farman pushed away Marsh-Brown’s dangerous low free kick.
It was Forest Green who had dominated the first half, but Lincoln rose to the occasion in the second period and came out on top.
However that was after Marsh-Brown was involved in two huge opportunities at the start of the half. The first saw Bradley Wood’s vital interception deny him the chance to set the ball on a plate for Elliott Frear, while the second saw him double the lead.
He drove home from 20 yards with an accurate strike into the bottom corner after Frear had laid the ball on for him on the edge of the area.
It looked like FGR were all set to add to their brilliant recent run, but Lincoln had other ideas, and Woodyard reacted to a rebound to fire a goal back.
Russell made a brilliant save to deny the visitors substitute Adam Marriott, but after Ethan Pinnock had been denied by a good stop himself, Lincoln equalised.
A touch from Rhead set the ball up nicely for Waterfall who hammered home inside the box.
With hardly any time to think, what looked set to be another three points were snatched away, when another set piece saw Lincoln score again to send their travelling fans home delighted.
Nathan Arnold’s corner was headed home inside the six yard box by Raggett to inflict only Forest Green’s third league defeat of the season, ahead of Tuesday’s visit of Tranmere.
Report: Richard Joyce
Photo: Adam Rivers/Pro Sports Images