February 8, 2015
FOREST GREEN ROVERS 2. v. 1. GRIMSBY TOWN
(This Match Report is LAST TIME OUT for Grimsby Town, courtesy of the Gloucester Citizen.)
James Norwood became Forest Green’s all-time leading scorer in Conference football as Rovers made it five straight victories.
An own goal by Kurtis Guthrie cancelled out Elliott Frear’s opener to leave the teams deadlocked at the break, setting the stage for Norwood to step off the bench and have the decisive say – his 50th league goal for the club.
The hosts ought to have broken the deadlock on 31 minutes. Quiet up to that point, winger Frear swung over a delicious cross from the left that was met with a first-time prod by Guthrie and brought a smart low save from James McKeown.
A soaring Shaun Pearson failed to test Sam Russell with a header from a corner, and Grimsby were duly punished for failing to seize an opportunity.
Stuart Fleetwood was the architect, pouncing on hesitant play by Aristote Nsiala and pulling the ball back from the byline for the onrushing Frear to ram home his second goal of the season.
The lead lasted five minutes, Nathan Arnold’s whipped free-kick into a packed penalty area coming off the head of Guthrie and flying past a helpless Russell.
Rovers were doing most of the pressing in the second half, and they were unfortunate when Rob Sinclair’s free-kick ricocheted into the path of Parkin. His shot struck the post and landed at the feet of Guthrie, who sliced horribly over.
Home skipper Marcus Kelly’s flighted set piece was routinely fielded by McKeown, whose opposite number Russell pulled off a magnificent one-handed save to foil substitute Ross Hannah from point-blank range.
Three minutes later Russell excelled himself again, saving twice from Hannah after the striker had capitalised on a mistake by Charlie Clough and found himself clean through.
It proved to be a pivotal intervention, as Norwood picked the pocket of Disley and poked the ball past the onrushing McKeown to register his 13th goal of the campaign.
Forest Green: S. Russell; D. Pipe, C. Clough, D. Coles, M. Kelly; K. Guthrie (J. Norwood 68), S. Wedgbury, R. Sinclair, E. Frear (C. Kamdjo 86); J. Parkin, S. Fleetwood (J. Marwood 68);
Subs not used: L. Oliver, S. Arnold.