Noah Dougherty
Saturday 17 August 2019

Forest Green Rovers matched their score from opening day with a 1-0 win over Grimsby Town at The New Lawn.

A late strike from substitute Junior Mondal was the difference on the day as Rovers had to work hard for the three points.

Mark Cooper made four changes to the side that drew away to Walsall last weekend, bringing in Joe Wollacott, Matty Stevens, Ebou Adams and Udoka Godwin-Malife after their impressive performances at Charlton in midweek.

In a subdued opening 20 minutes, the only chance of any note fell the way of the visitors as Luke Waterfall, who signed the day prior to the game, found a yard of space on the left of the area before prodding a tame effort across goal for Nathan McGinley to clear.

Shawn McCoulsky, starting alongside strike partner Matty Stevens for the first time, had his first opportunity of the encounter after 24 minutes as he was played into the Grimsby area, but an excellent sliding challenge stopped him in his tracks.

Matt Green’s powerful run into the area could have spelled trouble for the hosts but Ebou Adams was able to track back quickly and make a crucial tackle before some six-yard-pinball won the Mariners a corner.

Jo Wollacott’s first taste of New Lawn action came with a little over half an hour played as he had to be on his toes to gather Waterfall’s looping header from inside the area.

A short corner could have carved out a chance for captain Joseph Mills just after the break, but his well-hit effort was always curling away from James McKeown’s top corner.

Elliott Hewitt’s deflected effort almost saw Hanson find the net with over an hour on the clock, but his poked effort was pounced on by league debutant Wollacott.

The Mariners’ best chance of the game came after 65 minutes as a deep free-kick from Jake Hessenthaler was header clear by Godwin-Malife before Harry Davis’ flick to Hanson was somehow steered wide by the big striker with much of the goal to aim at.

The deadlock was finally broken with less than 15 minutes to play.

Godwin-Malife showed his strength outside the area to hold off two Grimsby players before slotting a ball down the right to Bernard. The full-backs' cross didn’t find McCoulsky through the middle, but it drops kindly for Mondal to slot home.

Hanson's final chance of the afternoon came with his head as he powered an effort wide of the post after connecting with Charles Vernam's whipped cross from the right.

Forest Green XI: Wollacott, Bernard, M.Mills, Winchester, Stevens (Grubb 46’), Adams, Dawson (Mondal 70’), McGinley, McCoulsky, Godwin-Malife, J.Mills (c)

Unused subs: Thomas, Collins, Allen, Morton, Kitching

Grimsby Town XI: McKeown, Hendrie, Waterfall, Davis, Hewitt, Clifton (Ring 79’), Hessenthaler, Whitehouse, Ogbu (Cook 74’), Hanson, Green (Vernam 79’)

Unused subs: Russell, Gibson, Wright, Pollock

Referee: Leigh Doughty

Attendance: 2,152 (283 away)

Man of the Match: Udoka Godwin-Malife

Next up: Port Vale, Vale Park, Tuesday August 20