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Forest Green: Play-off dream all but dead after Barnet loss

By The Citizen  |  Posted: April 05, 2014

James Norwood

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A third straight defeat on the road has all but killed off Forest Green's hopes of making the Skrill Premier play-offs.

Abject in the first half, Rovers fell behind to a worryingly simple Valentin Gjokaj goal from a routine corner.

James Norwood's strike looked to have ensured they would return from the capital with a share of the spoils, but a Jared Hodgkiss own goal with 10 minutes left won it for Martin Allen's Bees.

Ady Pennock was forced into a change inside eight minutes, Jamie Turley hobbling off with a hamstring injury and replaced by Anthony Barry.

The latter took up his usual berth in central midfield and Paul Green filled in for Turley at right-back, and there was no obvious disruption to Rovers' early plans as they hassled and harried the home side in possession.

Jake Hyde fired across the face of Sam Russell's goal in the 16th minute after Mark Byrne's initial shot had been charged down by the recalled Jared Hodgkiss.

Russell was tested for the first time three minutes later, showing sharp reactions to tip Hyde's fizzing drive over the crossbar.

The opening goal came from the resulting corner, as central defender Gjokaj was afforded a criminal amount of space in which to meet the outswinging delivery and plant a header past a helpless Russell.

It was 1-1 just after the hour mark thanks to Yan Klukowski's raking cross from the right and a tidy side-footed finish from Norwood – his 16th goal of the season.

Barnet got back in front when the impressive Marsh-Brown burst clear on the left and sent over a low cross that was prodded home by the unfortunate Hodgkiss under pressure from Mark Byrne.

Klukowski came close to hauling Rovers level again on 86 minutes but was foiled by Gjokaj's clearance off the line

See Monday's Pink Un for Peter Orchard's match overview and match reaction.

Forest Green: S. Russell; J. Turley (A. Barry 8), L. Oliver, E. Oshodi, J. Hodgkiss (D. Wright 90); P. Green, A. Bangura (L. Rodgers 83), B. Jordan; Y. Klukowski, L. Hughes, J. Norwood; Subs not used: M. Taylor, P. White.

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