9:07am Thursday 10th October 2013
A SECOND-HALF implosion saw nine-man Forest Green suffer a crushing defeat at Aggborough, writes Richard Joyce.
Both Al Bangura and Aarran Racine were shown red cards, alongside Kidderminster’s James Dance after the break as Rovers crumbled to their fifth defeat from their last six games.
It epitomised Forest Green’s worrying slide down the Conference Premier table, which far from matches what was expected this season, as Matthew Barnes-Homer’s early strike was cancelled out by Kyle Storer and the hosts went on a goal scoring blitz late on.
Marcus Kelly’s first start for several weeks in the Rovers midfield meant Yan Klukowski helped form a part of the front three in place of Magno Vieira, who dropped to the bench.
Barnes-Homer, who was returning to his former stomping ground, took advantage of a manic moment in the Kidderminster defence after just six minutes and fired a fine finish past Nathan Vaughan to hand Forest Green a much-needed start.
The hosts bounced back shortly after though, courtesy of some poor Rovers defending from Callum Gittings’ corner, as Storer leapt highest at the back post to nod in a leveller.
Both sides matched up to each other throughout the opening 45 minutes but it was a different story after the break.
After Lolley had smashed an effort into the side netting following an impressively quick Kiddy break, Jack Byrne swept home from inside the box, despite a shout for handball from the Rovers defence, to give the home side a lead they would never lose.
Then came the evening’s first sending off as Bangura received his marching orders as a result of picking up two yellow cards, and with a one-man disadvantage, Rovers’ task grew even tougher.
Kelly again launched an effort on goal that slipped wide while Sam Russell pulled off a good stop to deny Lolley from adding to his side’s lead.
But Russell could do nothing with an outstanding strike from Amari Morgan-Smith moments later that effectively sealed the game in Kidderminster’s favour. The former Luton striker skipped inside and unleashed a thunderous strike from 30 yards which deservedly earned the applause from all sides of the ground.
The home side confirmed their three points with Morgan-Smith’s second just minutes from time as George Pilkington was punished for a handball offence and the former swept home a penalty.
The evening wasn’t over yet though as referee Kevin Johnson dished out two further red cards following a melee late on.
Racine’s 50-50 challenge with Dance, who had come on as a substitute for the hosts just minutes before, sparked an angry exchange between the two and they were given their marching orders on an awful night for Rovers at Aggborough.
FGR: S Russell, J Hodgkiss, C Stokes, A Racine, G Pilkington, A Bangura, M Kelly, K Forbes, Y Klukowski (M Vieira 73), D Wright (A Mangan 70), M Barnes-Homer (J Norwood 82). Subs not used: M Bulman, E Asafu-Adjaye Attendance: 2,244 (129 away).
Referee: Kevin Johnson.
Star Man: Marcus Kelly.
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