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Match Report

Town 1 - 4 Forest Green Rovers - First-half goals consign Town to defeat

07/12/21

Town were handed a heavy defeat at The Envirovent Stadium this evening as they suffered a 4-1 loss at the hands of league leaders Forest Green Rovers.

Simon Weaver’s side were left reeling by a first-half blitz that saw them three goals down through goals from Jack Aitchison, Nicky Cadden and Jamille Matt as the visitors maintained their unbeaten record on their travels this season.

Despite Lloyd Kerry giving Town hope early in the second-half Matt Stevens restored the three-goal advantage with 15 minutes remaining.

Town were forced into one change from the side that knocked Portsmouth out of the FA Cup on Saturday with Lewis Page serving a one-match suspended. Simon Power came into the starting line-up with George Thomson dropping into defence.

Buoyed by their cup success Town seized the early initiative with a Jack Diamond breakaway but he was crowded out when well placed.

A whipped cross from Simon Power then proved dangerous for the visitors defence but his delivery fell just beyond the Town attack.

Town’s best opportunity fell to Kerry after fifteen minutes when his shimmy left his opponent stranded and his ball expertly played in Luke Armstrong, but the striker’s low effort was turned round by Luke McGee.

The home side were then caught by a sucker punch by Rovers first attack of the evening. A loose ball fell kindly for Aitchison and his strike took a slight deflection past Mark Oxley.

It was almost two minutes later when Cadden picked up an errant Power pass and tested Oxley from distance.
Nathan Sheron was then forced to clear off the line from Stevens after good work on the right from Kane Wilson. Town were stung by the goal and needed to regroup to avoid falling further behind.

It was not to be though as Cadden doubled the lead after twenty-six minutes when he tapped home from a Stevens cutback.

Diamond then outpaced Dominic Bernard and his cross was met by Armstrong but the striker couldn’t get the connection needed to force McGee into a save.

Although Josh Falkingham went into the book it looked as though Town had escaped further setback before the break but on the stroke of half-time Matt hit home from close range after Wilson was allowed to run unchecked into the box.

Simon Power’s pace is a constant threat and he broke past the defensive back line early in the second-half to set up Alex Pattison’s fierce strike that fizzed just inches over the bar.

Town got the goal they needed though ten minutes into the second-half when Diamond’s run saw him play in Kerry, who cut back onto his left foot to curl home into the bottom corner.

Matt had the ball in the Town net on the hour mark but the goal was chalked off for handball.

Good inter-play from Power and Falkingham inside the Forest Green box freed up Pattison but he snatched at the effort and the ball sailed harmlessly wide. It was a great opportunity for Town and one they needed to take if they harboured hopes of grabbing something from the game.

Power went close after seventy minutes when he met Armstrong’s flick-on but his effort was straight at McGee.

And they were made to pay less than a minute later when Stevens nodded home from close range for his eleventh of the season.

The defeat, a third consecutive home loss, sees Town drop to eighth in League Two ahead of facing second-placed Northampton this weekend.

TOWN: Oxley, Thomson, Sheron, Burrell, Hall, Falkingham, Kerry, Pattison, Power, Diamond, Armstrong.

Subs not used: Cracknell, Attree, Williams, Orsi, Muldoon.

Goal: Kerry (55)

Booked: Falkingham (36), Kerry (88)

Forest Green Rovers: McGee, Wilson (Sweeney, 83), Bernard, Cargill, Sevenson, Adams, Stevens (Young, 83), Aitchison, Cadden, Matt (March, 76), Moore-Taylor.

Subs not used:  Allen, Hendry, Diallo, Thomas.

Goals: Aitchison (20), Cadden (26), Matt (44), Stevens (73)

Referee: Martin Coy.

Attendance: 1,619 (101 away)

Match Result
Town
Town
Kerry 55
1
Forest Green
Forest Green
Aitchison 20, Cadden 26, Matt 44, Stevens 73
4
The EnviroVent Stadium
7:45PM Tuesday 07 December 2021
Attendance 1619
Harrogate Town AFC
By Pixelbuilders | Leeds Digital Agency
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