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Forest Green Rovers
Forest Green Rovers
Date: 01/01/2018 3:00 pm    Attendance: 2727    Venue: The New Lawn

Match Report: New Year starts with defeat

Christian Doidge

Two first half goals from the visitors was enough to see off 10-man Forest Green at The New Lawn.

Matt Bloomfield and Craig Mackail Smith both found the net in the first half while Charlie Cooper was sent off after 39 minutes. Jack Fitzwater's strike then wasn't enough to start an FGR fightback.

Mark Cooper made two changes to the side that lost at Lincoln three days ago, bringing Callum Evans in to replace Mark Roberts and Jordan Stevens in to replace Luke James.

Both sides started brightly with a handful of chances at each end, Scott Laird’s early header being cleared off the line by striker Mackail-Smith.

Dan Wishart then had a chance after 9 minutes as Christian Doidge’s pass found him at the back post but his powerful effort was well charged down Scott Brown in the Wycombe goal.

It was the visitors however, who went the closest inside the opening 20 minutes as Brad Collins could only parry a vicious effort from the edge of the area and Mackail-Smith was able turn home the rebound, only to have his celebrations cancelled as the referee adjudged him to have been offside.

The visitors began really knocking on the door and with 22 minutes on the clock they struck the woodwork. Nick Freeman’s shot was deflected goalward by Bloomfield but the ball looped up and clipped the top of the crossbar.

With just under half an hour gone, Wanderers finally made the breakthrough as Adebayo Akinfenwa caused panic at the back post, allowing Bloomfield to find a yard of space and smash home.

Forest Green’s afternoon got worse with six minutes to go until half time as Charlie Cooper was given his marching orders for a foul on Luke O’Nien in front of the dugouts.

Wycombe then doubled their advantage in the 43 minute as Akinfenwa held up the ball from a corner and Mackail Smith had time and space to lash the ball into the roof of the net.

The second half started very quietly as Wycombe tried to shut FGR out of the game and they were successful until the 70th minute. Substitute Jack Fitzwater picked the ball up on the edge of the area and, cutting inside onto his left foot, he swept a shot into the top corner.

FGR tried to push for a late equaliser and Fitzwater almost found another moment of magic but this time his driving shot flew over the bar.

Keanu Marsh-Brown also tried his luck from range in the dying embers of the game but he couldn’t beat Brown who was able to save comfortably.

Report: Noah Dougherty

Image: Shane Healey/Pro Sports Images


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League Table

v Brimscombe & Thrupp (A)

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League Two

Match Report
Pos Club P GD PT
13 Crewe 0 0 0
14 Exeter 0 0 0
15 Forest Green 0 0 0
16 Grimsby 0 0 0
17 Lincoln City 0 0 0
Last updated: Thu 21 Jun 2018 10:38 am

Vital Statistics

Date 01/01/2018 3:00 pm
Competition League Two
Home/Away Home
Full Time Result 1 - 2
Half Time Score 0 - 2
Man of the Match
Scorers Jack Fitzwater
Referee Antony Coggins

Team Sheet

Forest Green Rovers