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Underdogs have the bite to hound Rovers out of Trophy

By The Citizen  |  Posted: December 17, 2012

crowded out: Magno Vieira for Rovers against Gainsborough Trinity

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Forest Green Rovers 1

Gainsborough Trinity 2

LIKE a throwback to the early Dave Hockaday era, Forest Green looked as grumpy as the frustrated hardcore fans in surrendering their interest in this season's FA Trophy.

Darryn Stamp's deft 15th minute opener gave the Blue Square Bet North outfit a merited interval lead, and the experienced striker bundled home a second with 18 minutes left to stun the disjointed hosts.

Chris Stokes' second goal in as many Rovers matches made for a barnstorming finish, but Steve Housham's in-form side clung on for their sixth straight victory and a place in round three.

The underdogs certainly looked far from overawed during the opening stages, Luke Waterfall getting on the end of a ninth minute free-kick and sending a header wide of Sam Russell's far post.

Six minutes later they were ahead, Stamp reacting quicker than Aarran Racine to pounce on a ball over the top before expertly lifting the ball over the onrushing Russell and into the net.

Russell's opposite number Jan Budtz was tested for the first time by a Steve Brogan free-kick, which was curled around the wall and forced the keeper to plunge to his right and parry.

Cue a spell of pressure from Hockaday's men, as captain Jamie Collins soared to meet Brogan's corner with a firm header and was denied by Dominic Roma's clearance off the line.

Trinity survived to regain a foothold in the contest, and they could even have doubled their advantage three minutes before half-time when Josh Wilde's superb cross found Stamp and he nodded wide from ten yards out.

Moments later Wilde's cross-shot had to be helped around the post by Russell, and from the resulting corner Craig Nelthorpe blazed a decent opportunity over.

Rovers simply had to improve after the restart, with Hockaday opting to freshen up his attack by introducing James Norwood and Matty Taylor from the bench.

Yet it was Trinity who again started on the front foot, Nelthorpe embarking on a mazy run and unleashing a dipping shot that landed on the roof of Russell's net.

Another Brogan set piece caused consternation at the other end, although Eddie Oshodi's header from an inswinging free-kick was comfortably fielded by Budtz.

Rovers threatened more seriously on 59 minutes when Omar Koroma seized on a mistake and saw a deflected shot saved by Budtz, who was back on his feet quickly to gather Taylor's follow-up.

Yet belief was growing in the away ranks, and it surged through the roof in the 72nd minute when Daniel Hone rose highest to nod down a corner and Stamp was on hand to ram home his second goal of the afternoon.

The lead was halved seven minutes later, Taylor pipping Budtz to the ball and digging out a deep cross for Stokes to net at the far post.

Substitute Yan Klukowski thought he had equalised, only for Wilde to nod off the goal-line, and Collins was wayward with a header under pressure.

Carnage from two corners at the death was somehow negotiated by Housham's warriors, who march into the last 16.

Forest Green: S. Russell; J. Turley, A. Racine, E. Oshodi, C. Stokes; J. Collins, A. Bangura, S. Brogan (Y. Klukowski 66); M. Vieira (J. Norwood 46), R. Styche (M. Taylor 46), O. Koroma; Subs not used: J. Hodgkiss, N. Jarvis.

Gainsborough: J. Budtz; D. Roma, L. Waterfall, D. Hone, J. Wilde; T. Hawkridge (J. Yates 65), J. D'Laryea, M. Leary, C. Nelthorpe; D. Knowles, D. Stamp (B. Barraclough 81); Subs not used: G. Young, M. Wilson, P. Connor.

Referee: J. Amey (Dorset)

Attendance: 496

Star man: Chris Stokes – Visibly frustrated but never let his head drop and sparked a rousing finale.

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