Noah Dougherty
Friday 05 July 2019

Forest Green Rovers Under 18s slipped to a narrow defeat to Brimscombe and Thrupp in the opening game of their 2019/20 pre-season.

Although they dominated for large spells of the game, Ash Caldwell's strike from inside his own half was the too much for Rovers to come back from, despite hitting the post with just minutes to play.

Having been in full pre-season training for less than a week, the Forest Green Rovers Under 18s found themselves under slight early pressure, Louis Owens being forced into the first save of the game as he gathered a looping header with ease.

The young Rovers side quickly gathered momentum, looking dangerous on the break and showing some real signs of quality.

Vaughn Covil showed his pace and power to break from a Brimscombe corner before finding Dan Ogunleye on the right, but the forward’s cross couldn’t quite find Alfie Thayer at the back post. 

Thayer was involved again after 21 minutes as he capitalised on a loose ball in the area, a good block from the Brimscombe defender preventing him from opening the scorning.

One of the best chances of the half well the way of Ogunleye after 25 minutes as he raced through on goal but couldn’t beat the keeper who got down well to palm an effort away to his left.

Dan Jones had an equally good opportunity to open the scoring before the break, but he couldn’t quite direct his effort on target and could only watch as it bobbled agonisingly wide of the post.

Half time substitute Luc Rees was called into action early on in the half as he got down well to make a save and set Rovers on the break. Ollie Artwell broke down the right before standing up a cross to the back post, but Destiny Oladipo couldn’t fashion a chance.

The visitors could once again have taken the lead after 73 minutes as Oladipo broke through the middle at pace before finding Artwell on the right, but the FGR winger couldn’t keep his effort down and fired it narrowly over the bar on an angle.

Fifteen minutes from time the deadlock was broken as Caldwell picked the ball up just inside his on half and, spotting the Rovers keeper off his line, he lofted an effort over his head and into the back of the net to give the hosts the lead.

Oladipo could have snatched an equaliser late on as he curled a brilliant effort towards the near top corner but the Brimscombe stopper pulled out an excellent save to tip the ball onto the post.