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Match Reports


6 August 2022

Blues win in Gloucestershire

Goals from Marcus Harness and Sam Morsy secured Town's first three points of the season courtesy of a victory at Forest Green.

Harness blasted an effort into the back of the net with 36 minutes played to open his account for the Club, with the Blues' captain then curling in from 25 yards to double the advantage just before half-time.

Josh March pulled a goal back after the break but Town saw out the remaining 35 minutes, nine of those coming in the form of stoppage-time, to claim the win.

Kieran McKenna Forest Green (A).JPG

Luke Woolfenden and Rekeem Harper missed out through illness, with Cameron Burgess replacing the former in Kieran McKenna's only change to the starting XI.

Having found the back of the net from a corner routine against Bolton last week, the Blues came close to opening the scoring inside three minutes from another well-worked set piece.

After Leif Davis' cross had been blocked behind, Lee Evans' delivery from the dead ball picked out Morsy, who had peeled away from his marker to the penalty spot. Town's captain brought the ball down before curling a left-footed effort towards the top left corner, where George Edmundson nodded over the top of the bar.

Another ball into the box created the next chance 10 minutes later, but Forest Green 'keeper Luke McGee was in the right place to collect Harness' volley following Janoi Donacien's cross from the right.

McGee was called into action twice inside three minutes midway through the half, first parrying a header from Morsy before the home shot-stopper acrobatically tipped Freddie Ladapo's left-footed strike around the post, the latter chance being created by a brilliant reverse ball from Harness.

Jamille Matt looked set to put the hosts in front on 36 minutes but, after Reece Brown had played an incisive ball into the box, Christian Walton raced off of his line to deny the Rovers skipper.

That saved proved to be even more crucial a minute later as the Blues took the lead. Davis' low ball into the box was only cleared as far as Harness, who smashed the ball into the back of the net.

Morsy made it 2-0 just before the break. After being teed up by Burns, the Town captain curled into the back of the net from 25 yards.

McKenna's side dominated the early stages of the second period, with Burns seeing a piledriver from range parried and Ladapo curling just wide a few moments later following a quick free-kick.

March pulled one back for Forest Green midway through the second period as he fired into the back of the net after a strong initial save from Walton.

Forest Green goal (A).JPG

That sparked the hosts into life as their best spell of the game followed. Sean Robertson saw his celebrations cut short when he thought he'd equalised a few minutes later, with the winger's improvised effort being ruled out by the offside flag.

A stunning Walton double-save then maintained the Blues' lead with just over 20 minutes remaining, the Town number one denying March and Robertson from close range in quick succession.

Sone Aluko, Tyreece John-Jules, Kayden Jackson and Morsy all had chances to add a third late on as McKenna's side saw out nine minutes of stoppage-time to secure all three points.

Forest Green: McGee, O'Keeffe, Cargill, Stevenson (Robertson 61'), Hendry, Matt (C), Moore-Taylor (Casey 87'), McAllister (Little 61'), Godwin-Malife (Bernard 26'), Davis (March 46'), Brown.

Subs: Thomas, Bunker.

Booked: Stevenson, Brown.

Town: Walton, Donacien, Edmundson, Burgess, Burns (Vincent-Young 84'), Evans, Morsy (C), Davis (Leigh 68'), Chaplin (Aluko 70'), Harness (John-Jules 70'), Ladapo (Jackson 84').

Subs: Hladky, Edwards.

Booked: Burgess.

Group cele Forest Green (A).JPG

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