Noah Dougherty
Saturday 17 October 2020

Forest Green Rovers produced a professional performance to see off Stevenage at The innocent New Lawn.

Jake Young fired home the first League goal of his career inside 25 minutes, and it was enough to secure all three points for Mark Cooper's men.

The Head Coach made five changes to the side that beat Scunthorpe United a week ago, Carl Winchester missing out through injury while four other players were also unavailable.

On his first League start for the club, Young was quick to throw himself into the action, and sent up a wave of appeals as he went to ground in the box after darting into the area from the by-line. Referee James Bell waved away the claims.

After a quiet opening, Rovers made the breakthrough after 23 minutes.

A lethal counter-attack caught Boro out, and Aaron Collins slid in Young on the left of the penalty area and he produced a marvellous finish into the far top corner.

On the half-hour mark, the hosts had a fantastic chance to double their lead as Jamille Matt charged down goalkeeper Jamie Cumming’s clearance before teeing up Collins, but the Welshman struck the outside of the upright with the keeper beaten.

As Rovers looked to settle things in the second half, neither side were able to carve out much of an opening until the 76th minute, when Udoka Godwin-Malife’s long-range effort took a deflection and almost caught Cumming off guard.

Collins’ battle with the left upright continued after 79 minutes as a loose ball dropped his way from Josh March’s cut-back, once again, the striker seeing his bouncing effort strike the post.

Alex Revell’s men could have snatched an equaliser with just five minutes to play, but former-Rovers man Jack Aitchison saw his free-kick flicked beyond those arriving at the back post.

Despite a spell of late pressure from the visitors, the Forest Green backline stayed ever resolute.

Referee: James Bell

Forest Green XI: McGee, Stokes (c), Kitching, Adams, Collins, Matt, Young (March 74’), Whitehouse, Wagstaff, Godwin-Malife, Richardson (Bernard 73’)

Unused subs: Thomas, Evans, McCoulsky, Bunker

Stevenage XI: Cumming, Wildin, Cuthbert (c) (Oteh 68’), Prosser, Effiong, Hutton (Coker 68’), List, Read, Smith (Newton 85’), Marshall, Aitchison

Unused subs: Johnson, Vincelot, Osborne, Akinwande

Match Sponsor: Energy and Legal

Matchball sponsor: DJH Carpet Factory Warehouse

Man of the Match: Jake Young