Forest Green Rovers suffered a 3-1 defeat to Bristol Rovers in the Central League this afternoon as two goals from Mo Bahgdadi and a strike from Alex Jakubiak proved too much for a young FGR side.
Bahgdadi opened the scoring for Bristol Rovers after 13 minutes as he turned home a cross from the left and that would prove to be the only goal in a fairly quiet first half.
The visitors came out of the tunnel after the break in fine form and within five minutes they had tripled their advantage. Jakubiak scored the first just minutes after the break as he powered into the area before firing past James Montgomery with a cleverly disguised finish into the bottom corner.
Bahgdadi then added the third minutes later in what was almost a carbon-copy of his teammates strike moments before.
Despite a powerful Lee Collins header from a corner with 20 minutes to go, FGR couldn’t convert a strong finish to the encounter into any more goals although Scott Laird almost found the net with the last chance of the game as he headed wide from a Theo Archibald cross.
“Even though it was a 3-1 scoreline, I think the players did well and if you look at the two chances we had at the end with Laird’s header and the chance the trialist had then we could have quite easily drawn the game,” said manager Scott Lindsey.
“The most pleasing factor was that we never gave in a carried on through to the end of 90 minutes and it ended up being quite a good game.”
The Forest Green side, as is often the case with Central League games, was made up of a mix of first-team players, academy players and a few trialists and although they couldn’t grind out a result, Lindsey was pleased to see them get minutes under their belts.
“I think in these sort of games you can sort of patch a team together to try and give different groups of players some minutes in their legs,” he said.
“We did do a little bit of work on the training ground yesterday to sort the shape and patterns of play and I would have like to see a little more of those actions put into practice today but it’s always hard when you have to bring players who have never played together into a team.
“When you have a patched together squad there are always going to be some moments of madness and that madness can lead to goals but what was pleasing is that we got the control back and started playing better.”
A number of the pros put in good performances over the 90 minutes and Tahvon Campbell was once again one of the impressive additions.
“I thought Campbell was excellent today,” said Lindsey.
“I thought he was outstanding from start to finish and he worked his socks off and his quality really showed. He never stopped working throughout the whole game so we are really pleased with his performance and his attitude.
“Matt Worthington did well in midfield as well and the two older pros, Scott Laird and Lee Collins, applied themselves really well.
“It’s a long season so we are going to need every one of these first-team players so we want them to be ready as soon as their time comes.”
Although Lee Collins was on hand to score FGR’s only goal of the afternoon, it was performance and attitude that impressed the Forest Green boss the most.
“It was a good header from Collins and he attacked the ball well so it was nice to see him on the scoresheet. Above that though I thought his attitude was first class and that’s what we need in these games.
“It’s important that the older pros give that give the impression to the younger boys that you need to perform well whether you are playing in the first team or the Central League reserve game.
"It’s a long season so we are going to need every one of these first-team players so we want them to be ready as soon as their time comes."