Rovers carry on top form with away win
Forest Green made it five clean sheets and six games unbeaten to extend their stay at the top of the National League with a good win at North Ferriby United, writes Richard Joyce.
Ethan Pinnock scored his first Rovers goal, as further second half efforts from Charlie Clough and Christian Doidge proved enough for FGR to carry on their fine run of form.
Rovers defensive strength proved itself again, as the team’s run of shutouts was enough to frustrate an opponent who themselves had only found the net six times all season.
The result means FGR will hold top spot in the division heading into next week's FA Cup fourth qualifying round weekend.
A lively start saw Rhys Murphy produce an effort on goal as early as the first minute, while he reacted quickly to a deflected Kieffer Moore strike by firing another shot just wide minutes later.
Liam Noble then continued a strong FGR start when he blasted off target following an excellent interchange of passes with Fabien Robert, and Moore’s powerful run midway through the half saw him blast just over the bar.
North Ferriby came into the game as the half progressed, but they were pegged back when Pinnock broke the deadlock with his first goal in a Rovers shirt.
He got on the end of Noble’s fantastic ball into the danger zone to produce a deft touch that was enough to find a way past Rory Watson in the host’s goal.
North Ferriby’s best chance of the half came just a minute after FGR had gone ahead. It fell to former Rovers man Stephen Brogan, whose left footed direct free kick only just inched past Sam Russell’s left hand post.
Having struggled to score goals this season, North Ferriby tried their luck with two half chances early in the second half, although Vinny Mukendi couldn’t get his headers on target.
And after substitute Doidge had seen his header comfortably saved down the other end, Darren Carter was forced to clear off the line as Mukendi’s header down into the six yard box caused trouble.
From the resultant corner the home side saw a header scrape over the bar, but it was the wake up call Mark Cooper’s men needed, as they doubled their lead two minutes later.
It was another brilliant Noble delivery from a corner that provided the opportunity, as Clough rose highest to nod home.
The goal ended any hopes North Ferriby had to steal a point, and they conceded another in stoppage time, when Doidge was able to roll the ball home into an empty net after Elliott Frear’s shot had slammed onto the post and bounced out to the forward.
Report: Richard Joyce
Photo: Simon Davies/Pro Sports Images