11.03.23 Match Report FGR 1 Rovers 3

Rovers scored three goals for the second successive away game to secure the points at the Bolt New Lawn. Two goals for Marquis, one for Sinclair and a second-half penalty save from Belshaw made the difference for the Gas.

Joey Barton made just one change to last weekend's side that drew against Barnsley. In came Josh Coburn to replace Sam Finley, who missed out through illness. Aaron Collins stepped up to the role of captain once again.

Scott Sinclair had a great chance to put the Gas ahead after just four minutes after exchanging passes with Bogarde, but Thomas saved. From the corner, Coburn’s header was over the bar.

Ward won a free-kick after eight minutes following a good spell of possession for Rovers, but Bogarde’s heavy touch soon saw the home side on the counter-attack, winning their first corner of the game.

Coburn cleared it, but the home side went back on the charge, grabbing the opening goal through Charlie Savage with a fierce left-foot drive from outside the box in the 12th minute.

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Coburn was on the wrong end of a late tackle a minute later, but the Gas couldn’t capitalise from the free-kick.

They were back level in the 18th minute though, as Coburn stole the ball and passed to Collins, who played in John Marquis, who calmly slotted home with his left foot from the edge of the area.

The home side won a pair of corners after 21 minutes, with Bogarde heading the second clear.

Gibson and Hoole both whipped in dangerous crosses from their respective flanks in the 24th minute, with Coburn looking like he was fouled from the second.

It didn’t matter as, moments later, Scott Sinclair fired home at the second attempt to put the Gas 2-1 up.

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A fine Hoole cross was headed narrowly wide at the back post by Coburn in the 35th minute as the Gas continued to press.

Marquis fired wide from distance two minutes later, after Coburn was again appealing for a penalty.  

Collins also fired off target from outside the box after Sinclair’s cross-field pass found him in space in the 43rd minute.

The hosts got the game going again for the second half, with Rovers forcing an early corner. Sinclair took it but FGR cleared. They had another in the 52nd minute as only some desperate home defending prevented a third Gas goal following a surging run from deep by Lewis Gibson.

Bogarde was shown the game’s first caution for a late tackle on the hosts’ captain Dylan McGeouch after 54 minutes.

Collins was next to break through the FGR backline, but his low cross was scrambled clear.

Sinclair was being afforded plenty of space on the right wing as Rovers pushed for a third goal to kill off the contest.

Coburn won a corner after 59 minutes following a fine interception in midfield by the impressive Bogarde. Sinclair’s delivery found Marquis, who rose to flick home his second goal of the game.

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Coburn was replaced by Evans immediately after the goal.

A quick clearance from Belshaw after 68 minutes set Collins scampering away; he cut inside and his shot cannoned into a defender and behind for a corner, which Thomas was able to claim. Marquis was booked for delaying the ’keeper from clearing.

There was a double substitution for the Gas after minutes as McCormick and Loft replaced Marquis and Collins. Luca Hoole’s sidefoot was stopped on the line. In the melee that followed as FGR cleared, McCormick was shown a yellow, along with Bernard.

Moments later, the substitute gifted the hosts a penalty after pulling down his man. Thankfully, Belshaw saved O’Keeffe’s tame effort to maintain the two-goal cushion.

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The Gas made two more substitutions in the 88th minute, with sub McCormick going back off to be replaced by Whelan, and Connolly replacing Bogarde.

Next up for Rovers is a Sky Bet League One game against Wycombe at The Mem on Tuesday 14th March, kick-off 7:45pm.

Forest Green Rovers: Thomas, O'Keeffe, Bernard, McGeouch (c), Garrick, Robson, Bakayoko, Godwin-Malife, Cooper, Peart-Harris, Savage.

Subs: Doohan, Cargill, McAllister, O'Brien, Bunker, Omotoye.

Rovers: Belshaw, Gordon, Quansah, Sinclair, Ward, Marquis (Loft 78), Collins (c) (McCormick 78 (Connolly 88)), Gibson, Bogarde (Whelan 88), Hoole, Coburn (Evans 62).

Subs: Balcombe, Loft, Gibbons, Evans, Connolly, McCormick, Whelan.

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