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> 31.1.2009

  Forest Green Rovers (1) 1   Hednesford Town  (0) 0    

Forest Green Rovers Rigoglioso 37

> Attendance   768 Current Form  WWWLL
 > MotM Danny Harvey

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Hednesford bowed out of this season's F.A. Trophy at the last sixteen stage this afternoon, with a first half goal from Blue Square Premier side Forest Green Rovers enough to see them move into the quarter final stage of the competition. Manager Dean Edwards was forced to shuffle the pack again, with Rapinder Gill and Luke Edwards cup-tied. Curtis Ujah and the returning Dale Anderson were brought into the starting XI. Ross Dyer's injury meant he was only amongst the substitutes, joining a strong-looking bench  that included Sam Hall, Mark Briggs and Adam Burley

The away side, having beaten two sides from step two in the competition already this term, were keen to test themselves against the highest level of opposition to see how far they had come. They made a good start, with Elliott Durrell bright and breezy with his passing and movement in midfield

The Pitmen's first real opportunity came from a set-piece after eight minutes. A Chad Sheppard corner was headed towards goal by Danny Harvey, but the referee blew for a foul on goalkeeper Ryan Robinson as the two went up to challenge for the ball

There had been little in the way of an attacking threat from the home side in the first fifteen minutes, with danger man Adriano Rigoglioso well shackled by the improving Curtis Ujah

Top scorer Tyrone Barnett was next to trouble the Blue Square Premier side's defence, pouncing on a Durrell free kick before firing across the face of goal and away from the oncoming Anderson

Rigoglioso was starting to find his feet up front, and tested the reflexes of Stuart Brock by firing a rising shot narrowly over the Hednesford keeper's crossbar on thirteen minutes

The Pitmen continued to give as good as they got, with Tom Marshall going agonisingly close with a header mid-way through the half that cleared the crossbar

The visitors suffered a blow on the half hour mark, as Brock collided with Forest Green striker Andy Mangan as they both went for the ball. After winning the ball, Brock came off worst in the challenge, and received lengthy treatment that left him limping

Forest Green took advantage of the Pitmen's insecurities at the back to grab what was to be the winner eight minutes before half time. Hednesford failed to spot the warning signs as Forest Green built from the halfway line and steadily moved towards the penalty area. The ball found Mangan, just inside the area, whose attempted shot was well blocked by Ujah. Rigoglioso seized upon the loose ball and fired past Brock into the far corner of the net

Despite the blow, Hednesford continued to press, although a number of simple balls from the back were easily cut out by Forest Green's midfielders, who looked to punish simple errors on the break

The early stages of the second half saw Hednesford back on the front foot, with the words of Edwards no doubt ringing in their ears. Anthony Maguire whipped in an early cross that failed to find either Anderson or Barnett as they moved into the penalty area

At the other end, Rigoglioso tested the injured Brock with a stubbed shot that the Hednesford number one easily fielded low down

On fifty four minutes, Durrell had a great chance to put the Pitmen level, latching on to a ball from Anderson, but fired over the bar from sixteen yards out

Back came Rovers, and Conal Platt played in the ever-willing Rigoglioso. On this occasion, the former Morecambe and Lancaster player could not divert the ball home, as his flick flew wide of goal

Edwards decided to change things, with Sam Hall making an appearance at right back in place of Sean Platt. He also made a switch in midfield a few moments later, with the cultured passing of Mark Briggs joining the game in favour of skipper Sheppard

Only a few moments after the wave of tactical changes, Edwards was forced into a final change as Barnett pulled up with what appeared to be an injury to his groin. Ross Dyer, himself only just back from a similar injury, replaced him

Dyer's pace and trickery immediately gave the Pitmen a different look, as he linked up well with fellow sub Hall to play in Durrell, whose shot was blocked by a Forest Green defender

Rigoglioso had another go at killing the Pitmen off twelve minutes from time, but his twenty yard effort was deflected away from goal for a corner kick

 Briggs was next to go close for the Pitmen on eighty one minutes, collecting a pass from Ross Draper before firing a weak shot straight at the giant Robinson

Two minutes later, the away side thought they had grabbed the equaliser their efforts deserved; Maguire swung in an inch-perfect cross towards the penalty spot, finding the head of Marshall, who lopped the ball over the onrushing Robinson and into the net. The joy was short-lived as the assistant referee had raised his flag, much to the bemusement and anger of the Pitmen as Marshall came from an onside position and had not made contact with Robinson

The Pitmen's late efforts came to nothing, and their F.A. Trophy dream comes to an end at the last sixteen stag - no mean feat for a UniBond Premier League, but now there are no excuses or cup distractions when it comes to the title challenge  cds

Leigh Genesis (A)

7.2.2009
Team Mins On   On/Off For   Goals Top Scorer Barnett (20)
.1 Stuart Brock 90 .. .. .
.2 Sean Platt 57

Hall

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UniBond Premier League 31.1.2009
.3 Anthony Maguire 90

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. Top Half
.4 Curtis Ujah 90

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.. Pos Team Played Points
.5 Danny Harvey 90

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. 1st Eastwood Town 24 54
.6 Tom Marshall 90

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2nd HEDNESFORD 25 50
.7 Chad Sheppard 64

Briggs

. 3rd North Ferriby 27 45
.8 Elliott Durrell 90

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4th Nantwich Town 26 45
.9 Tyrone Barnett 70

Dyer

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5th Fc Utd of M'ster 27 45
.10 Dale Anderson 90 .

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6th Ilkeston Town 23 43
.11 Ross Draper 90

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7th Bradford P A 26 42
Substitutes

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8th Marine 26 42
.12 Ross Dyer

20

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Barnett

. . 9th Guiseley 26 41
.14 Adam Burley 0

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. 10th Ashton United 26 40

.15

Sam Hall 33

Platt

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.16

Ben Harbutt 0

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.17

Mark Briggs 26 Sheppard .
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Action from The New Lawn:  1. the returning Dale Anderson wastes no time in getting stuck in   2. Man of the match Danny Harvey tries to beat his marker  3. Tyrone Barnett is marked by FGR's Mark Preece

 

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