Forest Green had to settle for a point as they were held to a 0-0 draw to Stevenage at The New Lawn.
Both sides had chances to score throughout the match but no-one was able to make the breakthrough on a hot afternoon in Nailsworth which saw Rovers end the match with 10-men.
Mark Cooper made two changes following his side’s goalless draw with Carlisle United in midweek. Junior Mondal came into the team for the suspended James Morton while Liam Shephard made a long-awaited return from injury, Udoka Godwin-Malife dropping to the bench.
It was a fast start from the away team but Lewis Thomas was alert from the first whistle, making a fine stop to deny Jason Cowley after just three minutes.
Ben Kennedy went very close with a dangerous-looking free-kick just past the half-hour mark. His curling shot floated just wide of the right-post from 20 yards out.
Thomas made another great save with about ten minutes of first-half football to play. Kurtis Guthrie’s shot across the goal was well parried by Thomas before Farrend Rawson made an excellent recovery to clear the ball from danger.
An astonishing scramble deep in the Forest Green penalty area somehow didn’t result in a goal five minutes into the second period. The ball was knocked down following a corner and some last-ditch defending on and around the line kept the game goalless.
Liam Kitching went close with a header 12 minutes from time. A corner came swinging in from the left and the centre-back was one of a number of players attacking the ball but he couldn’t direct it goalward.
Kyle Taylor was shown the red card with five minutes to play after a late challenge on Michael Timlin earned him a second yellow card.
Forest Green Rovers XI: Thomas, Shephard (Adams 46’), Bernard, Rawson (McGinley 46’), Winchester, Stevens, Kitching, Mills (c), Mondal (Grubb 71’), Taylor, Aitchison
Unused subs: Wollacott, Grubb, Collins, Allen, Godwin-Malife
Stevenage XI: Farman, James-Wildin, Stokes, Cuthbert (c), Carter, Cowley (Newton 79’), Kennedy, Iontton (Watts 71’), Guthrie, Denton (Husin 79’), Timlin
Unused subs: Bastien, Husin, Newton, Watts, El-Abd, List, Mackail-Smith
Referee: Darren Drysdale
Attendance: 1881 (110)
Man of the Match: Lewis Thomas
Next up: Southend United, Boots and Laces Training Ground - Tuesday, September 24 (Central League)
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