FGR go further ahead with fine away win
Keanu Marsh-Brown’s early first half goal earned Forest Green Rovers a magnificent three points on the road at Macclesfield Town, writes Richard Joyce.
Mark Cooper’s side are now nine points clear at the top of the National League, after another superb defensive showing, which saw FGR extend their unbeaten run to eleven games.
A Macclesfield side away from home always prove to be tricky opponents, but FGR’s away form has been the best in the division so far, and that showed no sign of stopping in front of a good backing of noisy travelling Forest Green supporters.
Manchester United and managerial legend Sir Alex Ferguson watched on as Marsh-Brown got the game underway in excellent fashion for Rovers, when he found the net after only two minutes.
He took advantage of a gaping hole in the Macclesfield back line to latch onto Christian Doidge’s through ball to hammer home past Craig Ross.
FGR were enjoying some early joy in the Macclesfield defensive third, which continued when Marsh-Brown slammed across the face of goal following Daniel Wishart’s bursting run, and Charlie Clough’s header on the half hour mark from a Liam Noble corner was easily saved.
The Silkmen came into the game more towards the end of the half. Danny Whitaker’s blast across goal slipped wide, while ex-Morecambe front man Jack Sampson forced Sam Russell into a stop low to his left.
Marsh-Brown tried to add a second before half time, but David Fitzpatrick got a vital touch on his volley, which was driven goalwards.
Elliott Frear provided an early tester for Ross at the start of the second half that the Silkmen keeper was equal to, and after Danny Rowe had fired wide down the other end, Ross was again called into action to deny Rob Sinclair’s shot from 20 yards.
The Silkmen keeper was forced into a smart save when he kept out Frear’s attempt at a finish after Marsh-Brown had done brilliantly down the right shortly after.
Russell was then called upon just past the hour mark when he plucked Mitch Hancox’s rifled volley from distance out of the air.
Ross had been the busier of the two keepers, and the former Whitehawk man made a crucial save to keep the score line down to just the one goal when Noble fed Marsh-Brown on the right, for the attacker to see his slammed effort crucially saved.
The home team’s search for an equaliser continued. They came close as the game ticked into the last ten minutes when Jack Mackreth’s shot hit the side netting after he’d latched onto an excellent Rowe aerial ball.
It was the last chance John Askey’s men would get, as Rovers held on to move nine points clear at the top of the division with a brilliant away result.
Report: Richard Joyce
Photo: Shane Healey/Pro Sports Images