9:38am Wednesday 12th March 2014
FOR the second time this season Forest Green struck four goals past Salisbury City as Rovers made it two fantastic back-to-back wins in the space of just four days, writes Richard Joyce.
Saturday’s impressive win over FA Trophy finalists Cambridge United was more than equalled by a Rovers side who were creative and lethal in front of goal against a Salisbury outfit with a wretched away record.
Two incredible first half strikes from defensive duo Aarran Racine and Jared Hodgkiss were added to in the second half by Lee Hughes and Yan Klukowski’s confident finishes.
With four games in eight days, Ady Pennock once again reshuffled his pack. Al Bangura returned to the middle of midfield while Matty Taylor, recalled from his noteworthy loan spell at league rivals Chester, was drafted in up front and played an instrumental role on his return to The New Lawn.
Eddie Oshodi saw his low strike blocked by Salisbury keeper Will Puddy early on in the game’s first stand out opening.
Dan Fitchett tried his luck for the visitors with a long distance strike, which failed to threaten Sam Russell’s goal, before central defender Racine drove Rovers ahead with a finely tuned strike.
The ball found its way to the former Southampton man and he slammed an edge-of-the-box volley firmly past Puddy.
James Norwood almost added to his opener shortly after only to be denied but Rovers double their lead with a contender for goal of the season minutes later.
Hodgkiss, who had headed Rovers’ important leveller at the weekend, smashed in from 25 yards with a thunderous strike which burst into the back of the net to lift the home support on to their feet.
His wonderful effort was the perfect ending to a first half which had seen Rovers in the ascendancy and they were impressive from the off in the second half too.
Fine work by Taylor saw him feed the ball across the face of the six yard box to Hughes, who planted the ball into the back of the net on the hour mark to bag Rovers a third.
He almost added a fourth shortly after with a curving strike which fell just wide while Puddy’s excellent stop denied Taylor a place amongst the scorers.
The match looked to be petering out towards the finish with Rovers’ attentions beginning to turn to Braintree’s visit in 48 hours’ time.
However, there was one last goal to celebrate as substitute Klukowski, making his 150th league appearance for the club, met a dinked Taylor cross to head in past Puddy and seal a marvellous win.
FGR: S Russell, J Turley, J Hodgkiss, A Racine, E Oshodi, A Bangura, A Barry (P Green 79), J Norwood (Y Klukowski 64), M Kelly, L Hughes (L Rodgers 71), M Taylor Subs not used: E Asafu-Adjaye, P White.
SALISBURY: W Puddy, K Amankwaah, A MacDonald, J Clarke, G Wilson, E Frear (B Dutton 80), S Sinclair, R Sinclair, C McPhee (J White 61), C Kamdjo (R Wellard 51), D Fitchett Subs not used: R Brett, J Bittner.
Attendance: 918 (85 away).
Referee: Justin Amey.
Star Man: Matty Taylor.
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