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Forest Green Rovers
2
Forest Green Rovers
vs
-
Maidstone United
2
Maidstone United
Date: 22/04/2017 3:00 pm    Attendance: 2030    Venue: The New Lawn

The Stones hit back to deny Forest Green


Maidstone United Home

In form Maidstone United struck twice in the second half at The New Lawn to limit Forest Green to just a point on their final home outing before the play-offs, writes Richard Joyce.

Two goals up thanks to a first half goal from Keanu Marsh-Brown and second half own goal, FGR were pegged back as the Stones returned to Kent with a share of the spoils thanks to Harry Phipps and Joe Pigott’s strikes.

A crowd of over 2,000 were in attendance for what will be next a home play-off match – with Rovers set to take on Dagenham & Redbridge.

From the start Forest Green were lively. Christian Doidge almost headed in Dale Bennett’s first minute cross and Kaiyne Woolery shot wide after a mazy run saw him shift the ball onto his left foot.

Charlie Cooper and centre back Manny Monthe also tried their luck with long range openings, but it would be the class of Marsh-Brown who would break the deadlock after just ten minutes.

Starting his first game since January, the former Fulham youngster cut inside on his right foot after steady FGR build up play, and executed a terrific finish into the bottom corner – out of the reach of Stones goalkeeper Lee Worgan.

Maidstone responded with two long distance efforts via former FGR loanee Odubade and Pigott, but it should have been Rovers who scored the next goal, only to see Woolery fire over after Doidge had teed up the young attacker against his former side when Liam Noble’s shot proved too hot to handle for Worgan.

The visitors former Wales under-21 international stopper had to be switched on to keep out a Doidge smash on 24 minutes though, while another Doidge opportunity past the half hour mark saw Rovers leading scorer blast wide when put through on the right.

Deservedly ahead at the break, Forest Green’s advantage was doubled ten minutes into the second half when Kevin Lokko turned into his own net.

A fantastic low cross from the right hand side from the advancing Bennett saw Lokko unintentionally knock the ball past his own goalkeeper.

Maidstone are one of the National League’s most in form sides though, and they proved their worth when they fought their way back into the contest in the last half hour.

Their comeback began when on the hour mark Phipps was in the right place to take advantage of a spilled ball to stroke in.

They showed plenty of promise in their search for an equaliser with Pigott shooting just wide shortly after.

At the other end though FGR continued in their attempts to restore their two goal advantage. Noble was denied with his 25-yard effort and Woolery’s fantastic run down the right saw his final shot go wide.

Pigott went close again for the visitors. Bobby-Joe Taylor’s good work set him on the edge of the box and he swivelled and then shot just wide of Sam Russell’s right hand post.

The woodwork denied Noble from finding the score sheet after Woolery’s blocked shot by Lokko had fallen to him, and it would prove to be a significant milestone, as Maidstone equalised as the game entered the last ten minutes.

Pigott sent their excellent travelling support into pandemonium as he finished inside the area after an error had presented him with an unmissable chance.

Taylor’s shot after good work by Odubade was kept out by Russell as the away side looked for the ultimate turnaround, but it was FGR who should have won it late on were it not for some magnificent last ditch defending.

Woolery had found a way past Worgan in stoppage time, but he couldn’t find a way past Seth Nana-Twumasi’s splendid committed block, which ensured Maidstone would leave Gloucestershire with a point and with Forest Green now facing a final day trip to relegation threatened York.

Report: Richard Joyce

Photo: Shane Healey/Pro Sports Images

Highlights: Toby Lowndes, Hannah Worboys, Elliot Owens, Noah Dougherty & Richard Joyce

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Match Report
Pos Club P GD PT
20 Crawley Town 8 -2 7
21 Cheltenham 8 -4 7
22 Forest Green 8 -10 5
23 Chesterfield 8 -10 5
24 Port Vale 8 -6 4
Last updated: Sat 16 Sep 2017 17:12 pm

Vital Statistics

Date 22/04/2017 3:00 pm
Competition Vanarama National League
Home/Away Home
Full Time Result 2 - 2
Half Time Score 1 - 0
Man of the Match Dale Bennett
Scorers Keanu Marsh-Brown
Referee Neir Hair (Cambridgeshire)

Team Sheet

Forest Green Rovers
Maidstone United