Plainmoor comeback not enough for FGR
A second half thriller saw Forest Green come out on the wrong side of the club’s final game of 2016 at Plainmoor, writes Richard Joyce.
Opponents Torquay United raced into an unexpected 3-0 lead after the interval, but Rovers looked all set to secure the most incredible of comebacks, when in the space of four minutes they found the net three times to draw level.
The Gulls provided one final twist though when they reclaimed their lead which this time FGR couldn't wrestle away from them.
In the early exchanges both sides threatened with minor opportunities on goal, but it was on 21 minutes when Brendan Moore had to produce the matches first notable save when he denied Liam Noble after good work by Shamir Mullings.
The home teams American goalkeeper then tipped over Kieffer Moore's superb turn and shot shortly after, while after Dan Sparkes had been denied at the other end by Sam Russell, Moore again made a vital stop to deny his namesake in the Rovers front line after he had latched brilliantly onto Noble's clever through ball.
A stalemate at the break, there was plenty of drama to come, and after Nathan Blissett had spurned two good openings for the hosts, he finally took another chance on 55 minutes when he broke the deadlock by getting on the end of Sparkes' low ball.
Within the next ten minutes Noble and Moore went close for FGR, but Torquay's advantage was doubled, as David Fitzpatrick slotted confidently.
And just 60 seconds later it was three. Sean McGinty nodded home at the back post to provide the Plainmoor crowd with the festive cheer they had enjoyed similarly 12 months before.
Their joy would soon be short-lived as Mark Cooper's charges began a stunning comeback. It started as substitute Christian Doidge headed in from a Keanu Marsh-Brown cross on 74 minutes.
Two minutes later it was Charlie Clough who would draw another goal back as he pushed the ball into the net from close range.
And the stunning comeback was complete when on 78 minutes Ethan Pinnock forced home at the back post.
The game had been turned on its head in the most unpredictable of circumstances, but there was another twist to come, as Torquay extinguished any ambitions Forest Green had to win the game when Gerring headed home the winner.
Gerring provided relief for the home support when he was left unmarked and nodded in the afternoon's final goal.
There was still time for FGR to try and draw parity again, although Elliott Frear's shot on his right foot was saved, and Mullings couldn't get an effort from a Marsh-Brown cross on target with Torquay doing enough to hang on for three points.
Report: Richard Joyce
Photo: Shane Healey/Pro Sports Images