October 18, 2014
(Article adapted from the Gloucester Citizen with many thanks.)
BRISTOL ROVERS 0. v. 1. FOREST GREEN ROVERS
Bristolian Danny Coles sunk his old club on a famous day for Forest Green at the Memorial Stadium.
Skippering Ady Pennock’s side in the absence of David Pipe, centre-back Coles notched his first goal in a green shirt at the ground he used to call home.
The dismissal of Daniel Leadbitter in the 58th minute aided the away team’s cause but they played the superior football throughout and fully deserved the West Country bragging rights.
The visitors had a glorious opportunity to nose ahead in the ninth minute when Luke Rodgers pounced on a weak header by Tom Parkes and squared to James Norwood, who was denied by the outstretched boot of prone goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall.
Kurtis Guthrie flicked a header wide from Rob Sinclair’s cross before Jon Parkin’s fizzing free-kick proved too hot to handle for Mildenhall, who was forced to block Norwood’s follow-up effort at the near post.
The resulting Sinclair corner was punched clear by Mildenhall and recycled into the area from the left, giving the soaring Coles an opportunity to nod home and celebrate in front of the less than forgiving home fans.
Forest Green old boy Matty Taylor really ought to have levelled proceedings in the 52nd minute when he found himself one-on-one with Sam Russell, but the diminutive striker scooped horribly over from 10 yards.
The home side finally had a foothold in the derby, and Adam Cunnington passed up another decent chance when he nodded wide while unmarked at the back post.
Cue the game’s major flashpoint, Leadbitter shown a straight red card for a late lunge on Guthrie that left the Forest Green winger crumpled in a heap.
Bristol Rovers were by no means a spent force, and Neal Trotman was furious not to make it 1-1 with a thumping header from a corner with 15 minutes left.
Substitute Ellis Harrison also prodded wide after wriggling clear of Eddie Oshodi but Pennock’s men had done enough.
Forest Green: S. Russell; D. Bennett, E. Oshodi, D. Coles, M. Kelly; J. Norwood (E. Frear 65), R. Sinclair (C. Kamdjo 90), S. Wedgbury, K. Guthrie; J. Parkin, L. Rodgers (C. Jolley 76); Subs not used: D. Pipe, L. Hughes.