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Forest Green Rovers
1
Forest Green Rovers
vs
-
Colchester
2
Colchester United
Date: 02/04/2018 3:00 pm    Attendance: 2869    Venue: The New Lawn

Match Report: FGR suffer narrow defeat to Colchester


Reid fires home from the spot

An early goal at the start of each half was enough for Colchester United to see off Forest Green Rovers at The New Lawn.

The visitors opened the scoring through Drey Wright with less than 20 seconds on the clock in the first half and, despite Reuben Reid's first-half penalty, Colchester emerged victorious thanks to Ben Stevenson's 47th-minute strike.

Mark Cooper named an unchanged side to the one that beat Mansfield Town just over a week ago but both Christian Doidge and Farrend Rawson returned to the bench after injuries.

Forest Green’s heaviest defeat of the season so far came in the reverse fixture at Colchester back in August and the visitors picked up where they left off almost instantly. With less than one minute on the clock, Sammie Szmodics found himself with room down the left-hand side and his low ball to the back post found Wright who slammed the ball home via the floor.

Colchester almost doubled their lead after 21 minutes as Wright this time turned provider but his high cross wasn’t turned home by Szmodics whose acrobatic effort flew over the bar.

Dayle Grubb looked to provide a way back into the game for the hosts after 26 minutes as he whipped in a deep cross from the left but not one of the four FGR players rushing at goal could direct it home. Just two minutes later though, the hosts had an even better chance to level up the scores as Reid flicked Gavin Gunning’s free-kick to the back post but Tahvon Campbell couldn’t direct his header on target from close range.

With 37 minutes on the clock, Forest Green became the 72nd and final Football League club to be awarded a penalty this season as Haydn Hollis was pulled back in the area while trying to bring the ball under control. Reid then made no mistake from the spot as he fired home down the middle.

As the referee got the second half underway, FGR started almost as badly as they did in the first half. Mikael Mandron did well down the right to hold the ball up before finding Stevenson who drove through the middle and fired across goal and into the bottom corner from outside the box.

Grubb had another chance to find the net after 51 minutes as a loose ball from a corner dropped to him on the edge of the area but he couldn’t power his effort through the crowd of bodies.

Two minutes shy of the hour mark, Hollis had an excellent chance to level it up as Grubb’s corner dropped to the near post but the centre-back couldn’t flick his header towards goal.

The game could have been sealed for the visitors with 71 minutes on the clock as Colchester had an effort cleared off the line. Brad Collins rushed out of goal to block the initial shot but as the ball dropped back to the edge of the area and Wright fired at goal, Dan Wishart was on hand to clear from underneath the crossbar.

Forest Green looked to have levelled things up as, on his return from injury, Doidge had the ball in the back of the net with 12 minutes to play but the referee’s whistle cut short his celebrations as he adjudged the striker to have pushed his marker in the back.

FGR’s final attack involved the most unlikely of players, Brad Collins, as he flicked Dale Bennett’s throw into the area before attempting to follow-up with a shot but a Colchester defender swept the ball clear before the FGR keeper could fire at goal.

Report: Noah Dougherty

Image: Shane Healey/Pro Sports Images

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Match Report
Pos Club P GD PT
18 Port Vale 44 -12 47
19 Yeovil 44 -15 47
20 Forest Green 44 -18 47
21 Morecambe 44 -14 45
22 Grimsby 44 -28 45
Last updated: Tue 24 Apr 2018 21:48 pm

Vital Statistics

Date 02/04/2018 3:00 pm
Competition League Two
Home/Away Home
Full Time Result 1 - 2
Half Time Score 1 - 1
Man of the Match
Scorers Reuben Reid
Referee Brett Huxtable

Team Sheet

Forest Green Rovers
Colchester