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Luton Town
Forest Green Rovers
Forest Green Rovers
Date: 28/04/2018 3:00 pm    Attendance: 10029    Venue: Kenilworth Road

Match Report: Rovers fall to frustrating defeat late on

Reece Brown fires at goal

Despite an impressive second half display, Forest Green Rovers couldn’t spoil the Hatters Promotion Party at Kenilworth Road as they fell to a 3-1 defeat courtesy of two late goals.

Luton Town’s leading marksman Danny Hylton opened the scoring after 20 minutes and although FGR tried to stage a second-half comeback through Christian Doidge, the Hatters struck twice in the final ten minutes with goals from Olly Lee and Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu.

Mark Cooper made three changes to the side that secured Forest Green’s Football League safety during the week as he brought Lee Collins and Reece Brown back to the side as well as Cameron Belford, making his second start due to the head injury sustained by Brad Collins.

17-year-old FGR academy product Sam Hendy also joined those on the bench for his first league outing with the first team.

With their promotion party already begun, it was the Hatters who started the brighter of the two sides and they had the ball in the net after just nine minutes. After a good spell of possession,the ball was whipped into the area from the right and James Collins flew towards and knocked tapped home but his celebrations were cut short by the referee’s whistle who called the Luton player back for a handball.

The hosts could have gone ahead again with a quarter of an hour on the clock as a ball from the right caused trouble in the FGR box and this time it was Hylton who fired at goal but he was denied incredibly by the legs of goalkeeper Belford.

From the resulting corner it was Hylton again who got an effort on goal, this time with his head, but once again Belford pulled off another fine save to deny the striker.

Luton did find the net after 20 minutes as James Collins was played in behind the Rovers defence and although Belford did well to deny the initial shot, the ball fell to Hylton in the area and this time the Hatters’ leading marksman couldn’t miss.

As the first half entered its final 10 minutes, Belford was again called into action to deny Hylton once more and James Collins almost latched onto a back-post cross.

The visitors began to grow into the encounter with a few minutes left of the half and Scott Laird was able to test James Shea from range after driving through the midfield late on but his effort was well saved.

As the referee got the second half underway, it was Rovers who were quicker out of the blocks and Doidge had a chance to give them the lead just two minutes later as Laird whipped in an excellent ball towards the striker but he couldn’t get the decisive touch to turn the ball home.

Forest Green continued to press the Luton backline and minutes later Doidge won a free-kick in a dangerous position just outside the area but Dayle Grubb was unlucky to see his curling effort just over.

With the hour mark six minutes away, FGR still looked the more dominant side and after some good build up play on the left they found themselves an equaliser.

Recce Brown picked up the ball on the edge and his cleverly disguised ball found Doidge who spun on a sixpence and fired home.

Reuben Reid entered the fray on the hour mark and just two minutes later he almost found the net for Rovers as Brown once again played a clever ball though but this time Reid’s cross-goal effort just skimmed the face of the post.

As the second half progressed both sides looked like they could find the net again with Doidge and Brown both trying their luck for the visitors while the hosts looked dangerous from set-pieces.

Luton did however find the net again with just four minutes of normal time remaining as, although Laird was able to blocked an initial cross coming in from the right, he couldn’t block the second which found Lee on the edge of the area and he the Luton player was able to calmly sweep the ball home from just inside the area.

Then, with 89 minutes on the clock, the Hatters put the game beyond all doubt as Mpanzu picked the ball upon the edge of the area and fired home via a deflection.

Report: Noah Dougherty

Image: Shane Healey/Pro Sports Images


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Results & Fixtures

v Grimsby (H)

Grimsby Town

05/05/2018 3:00 pm

League Two

Match Report
Pos Club P GD PT
19 Yeovil 46 -16 48
20 Port Vale 46 -18 47
21 Forest Green 46 -23 47
22 Morecambe 46 -15 46
23 Barnet 46 -19 46
Last updated: Sat 05 May 2018 17:00 pm

Vital Statistics

Date 28/04/2018 3:00 pm
Competition League Two
Home/Away Away
Full Time Result 3 - 1
Half Time Score 1 - 0
Man of the Match
Scorers Christian Doidge
Referee Lee Collins

Team Sheet

Forest Green Rovers