FAILURE to turn a glut of chances into goals cost Forest Green dearly as play-off rivals Kidderminster swapped places with them, writes Richard Joyce.
Anthony Malbon’s first half goal was enough to separate the two teams, although the visitors had on song goalkeeper Danny Lewis to thank for a number of good stops as Kiddy gained revenge for their defeat to Rovers at Aggborough in August by the same scoreline.
A mass of second half pressure from Rovers saw them come close as Yan Klukowski, Paul Green and Matty Taylor all had chances to win it but the visitors held out to maintain their excellent league form.
Eddie Oshodi began the game in an alternative central midfield position for injury struck Rovers, who had seven key first team players sat in the stands.
The evening’s spectacle would prove to be a scrappy, tense affair and it was Malbon’s instinctive finish just before the half-hour mark that sparked some drama.
Rovers failed to clear properly and former Port Vale man Malbon swooped in to hammer home on the edge of the six yard box to nudge the visitors in front.
Magno Vieira attempted a similar kind of finish down the opposite end in response to no avail, while Oshodi headed well over from Klukowski’s set piece delivery after Mickey Demetriou had hacked down James Norwood.
Forest Green almost drew parity in the concluding opportunity of the half when a neat move saw Chris Stokes feed Taylor, who laid off for Norwood to blast over.
A much livelier second half saw Forest Green on the front foot and shot stopper Lewis pulled off the first of a number of good stops to stop Klukowski from netting his well-placed free kick.
Norwood then fired over after tucking in while Klukowski headed wide after the workmanlike Green had dug out a deep cross.
Rovers’ Sam Russell mirrored his goalkeeping opponent with arguably the finest save of the evening as he stretched to keep Amari Morgan-Smith’s header out of the top corner.
Lewis then delivered his finest stop of the evening as he tipped Klukowski’s close range effort around the post while Taylor flashed a powerful shot across the face of goal shortly after.
The visitors’ keeper was not to be beaten, and his good stop when Taylor tried finishing a one-on-one and follow up save from Vieira suggested that it just wasn’t to be for Rovers, who had one last chance late on after Danny Jackman had hit the post for the away side.
Green picked up on a loose ball outside the Kidderminster box and hammered a deflected effort, which skimmed past the post, but Rovers couldn’t find the goal they fought so long for and Kidderminster returned to Worcestershire with maximum points.