Forest Green fall to rare home defeat
Bottom of the table North Ferriby United became only the second team this season to win at The New Lawn as they aided their slim survival hopes with all three points, writes Richard Joyce.
Reece Thompson’s second half header was enough to help the strugglers to maximum points as a Ferriby side who had conceded 16 times in their last four games held on to what may be a vital win.
Fabien Robert had hit the post in the first half for FGR, but Mark Cooper’s side struggled to break their compact opponents down and are now going to need something special if they are to still try and win this year’s National League.
There were big chances early on for a Rovers side playing a new system. North Ferriby had been given special permission to bring in goalkeeper Owen Evans on an emergency loan from Wigan, and the youngster had to be at his best to deny Jake Gosling from close range when the Bristol Rovers loanee looked all but set to score.
Mark Ellis then almost got on the end of a fine Marcus Kelly delivery minutes after Ryan Fallowfield had tried his luck with a long distance volley for the visitors.
Leading goal scorer Christian Doidge was the next to try his luck, but he saw his hit deflected just wide after right wing back Charlie Cooper had done well to supply him with the ball.
North Ferriby would have been encouraged by the open nature of the first half. They almost went ahead were it not for Sam Russell’s key stop and Drissa Traore’s much needed headed clearance off the line when Middlesbrough loan man Robbie Tinkler looked to fire in.
Thompson’s deft header kept Russell on his toes, while Forest Green’s latest opportunity to break the deadlock saw Gosling fire wide on his weaker foot after a brilliant exchange of passes outside the North Ferriby area.
The goal Rovers desperately sought came ever closer a few minutes before half time when Robert tried his luck from distance and saw his strike slam onto the post.
A number of good chances had fallen FGR’s way in the first half, but they were limited in the second 45 minutes, and it was in fact North Ferriby who would score the afternoon’s only goal.
Danny Emerton picked up the ball on the right and drilled a low ball into the six-yard area where Thompson continued his decent goal scoring form this season with a near post finish.
The pressure was immediately on Rovers who now needed to score twice in the remaining 20 minutes.
However opportunities were limited as substitutes Omar Bugiel and Kaiyne Woolery saw hopeful shots fail to find the net, and Doidge drove over the target after Cooper had slipped a ball into his path.
A difficult late-headed opportunity from Doidge couldn’t provide a dramatic stoppage time leveller, as the away side held on to the win and to leave FGR without a share of the points for a second consecutive weekend.
Report: Richard Joyce
Photo: Alan Franklin/Pro Sports Images
Highlights: Toby Lowndes, Elliot Owens, Noah Dougherty & Richard Joyce