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Penalty heartbreak for Rovers in final

By This is Gloucestershire  |  Posted: April 10, 2009

Forest Green Rovers players look on after penalty heartbreak

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FOREST GREEN fluffed their lines from 12 yards as underdogs AFC Telford United left the New Lawn with the Setanta Shield.

With the final scoreless after 90 minutes, Andy Mangan, Conal Platt and Paul Lloyd all saw penalties saved by Ryan Young in a dramatic shoot-out.

The result was rough justice on the hosts, who had dominated the contest but lacked the killer touch to claim their first piece of silverware for more than a decade.

Ex-Rovers striker Danny Carey-Bertram missed out for Telford due to a hamstring strain, but Jim Harvey was boosted by the return of Alex Lawless from illness in midfield.

The visitors could have taken a shock early lead when Emeka Nwadike got on the end of Steve Jagielka's free-kick and headed wide from the middle of the area.

Harvey's men eventually settled, and Young had to be alert to cling onto skidding low efforts from Adriano Rigoglioso and Lee Fowler.

Four minutes before the break Rovers were forced into an unwanted reshuffle, with left-back Paul Stonehouse hobbling off to be replaced by Curtis McDonald.

Within seconds they had their best opportunity of the half, Mangan bringing a fingertip save from Young after being fed by Platt.

Rigoglioso was then inches off target from 20 yards, and it was Telford who were more relieved to head into the dressing room for a breather.

Both sides wasted glorious chances to go ahead early in the second period, first when Nwadike sent a diving header wide from Jon Adams' cross.

Moments later Kaid Mohamed's effort was parried back into the danger area by Young, from where Lawless could only smash against the crossbar.

There was a nice moment for Hartpury College and Shortwood United man James Baldwin in the 87th minute, as he was introduced in front of the live TV cameras as a replacement for Lawless.

But despite building concerted pressure in the dying throes, Rovers had to endure the agonies of a spot-kick competition as Adams, Mark Danks and Gavin Cowan all successfully converted.

Forest Green: T. Burton; J. Smith, M. Preece, D. Jones, P. Stonehouse (C. McDonald 41); K. Mohamed (P. Lloyd 62), A. Lawless (J. Baldwin 87), L. Fowler, C. Platt; A. Rigoglioso; A. Mangan; Subs not used: B. Ashford, T. Pass.

AFC Telford: R. Young; G. Cowan, S. Whitehead, I. Khela; L. Vaughan, E. Nwadike, C. Rodgers, L. Moore (M. Lewis 46), S. Jagielka (L. Blakeman 82); M. Danks, A. Brown (J. Adams 46); Subs not used: R. Sappleton, J. Turner.

Referee: S. Creighton (Berks)

Attendance: 2,323

Star man: Adriano Rigoglioso

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    Money bags, Bookies  |  April 10 2009, 3:41PM

    I wonder if the bookies took much on this game