14 December 2016

Truro City 0 Forest Green Rovers 1 (AET)

Darren Carter came off the bench to score in extra time with an exquisite strike to send Forest Green into the next round of the FA Trophy, writes Richard Joyce.
Rovers will advance to face league rivals Chester next month after a gruelling first round replay with National League South Truro City who pushed Mark Cooper's men all the way.
Following Saturday's stalemate at The New Lawn, FGR made the lengthy midweek journey south, and were rewarded for their persistence when Carter slammed home with a rocket of a strike.
Dale Bennett saw red at the death in a tense affair which means Forest Green will now travel to the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium in mid-January, after Chester earned a late replay win themselves on the same night against Witton Albion.
Man of the match Charlie Cooper earned his first start since joining on loan from Birmingham, and the 19-year-old set Christian Doidge up for a header that was cleared off the line in the first half.
Cooper's swooping cross was then almost headed home at a difficult angle by Ethan Pinnock, meanwhile the half ended with Keanu Marsh-Brown blasting over from Charlie Clough's low cross.
Immediately after the interval Rovers had the ball in the back of the net. Doidge's shot was however ruled out by the linesman who deemed him to be in an offside position.
After Jamie Richards had gone close for the hosts, Ollie Knowles saw big opportunities go amiss for the sixth tier side, as Doidge fired wide on 72 minutes following a speedy breakaway involving Liam Noble.
The relatively quiet Sam Russell was called into action to make a good save to his left to prevent Niall Thompson's deflected strike from finding the bottom corner, and the same players right footed shot minutes later was straight at the FGR goalkeeper.
As the game edged nearer an additional 30 minutes, Rovers tried to win it late on. Clough was denied by Martin Rice's block, Manny Monthe's header was then also blocked, while Richards late attempt from a Zane Sole corner for Truro went just over.
The beginning of extra time saw substitute Elliott Frear force an early effort on the home team's goal. And they themselves hit the bar on 95 minutes.
Doidge and Marcus Kelly saw efforts go close at the end of the first half of extra time, but it didn't take long for the deadlock to be broken on 108 minutes.
Cooper's pass into the path of Carter was hammered home outstandingly by the experienced midfielder for the games first and only goal.
Truro upped their urgency as they chased a leveller. Courageous FGR defending denied them though, although there was to be one late twist, as Bennett was sent off right at the end by referee Wayne Barratt.
Report: Richard Joyce
Photo: Shane Healey/Pro Sports Images

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