TAMWORTH 1 FOREST GREEN ROVERS 2
YAN Klukowski toasted a wonderful weekend as Forest Green put themselves right in the play-off picture.
Midfielder Klukowski, who is out of contract at the end of the season, became Forest Green's joint highest scorer in the Conference with 46 goals in 151 league appearances, the same total as striker Alex Meechan, but in 48 fewer matches.
Liverpool fan Klukowski broke the stalemate in the 11th minute before a fizzer from James Norwood gave Ady Pennock’s side a comfortable advantage in a dour Skrill Premier clash.
A late red card for Rovers’ Aarran Racine and Matthew Godden's penalty had Rovers on the rocks, but they hung on to make a deserved victory- adding to their success over Salisbury City on Tuesday and despite a frustrating 2-0 defeat at home to Braintree on Thursday, Rovers are really at the races as the season enters the final furlong.
Pennock was delighted to see his side make it nine points from a possible 12 and hailed Klukowski’s impact.
He said: “Yan does what it says on the tin and I am delighted for him to get the goal and equal the record and hopefully he can now go on and break it.
“To take nine points in a week is fantastic for us and I am well chuffed with that. The effort, attitude and mental strength we have shown during a tough week has been incredible.”
Pennock was pleased to include left-back Chris Stokes for the first time as Rovers boss, after being sidelined since November with a torn hamstring.
Pennock added: “Chris did really well and we only took him off at half-time as a precaution.”
Earlier, Klukowski timed his run into the box with aplomb after Matty Taylor’s l ay-off .
Rovers grabbed a second on 27 minutes. Stokes' cross was cleared and Norwood lashed home from 20 yards.
Lee Hughes replaced a limping Klukowski on 55 minutes, but Rovers fluffed a number of second half chances, but the Lambs finally got a lifeline.
Belford’s torpedo 88th minute clearance picked out Godden and he went down under Racine's challenge, referee Karl Evans poinedt to the spot and red-carded the burly defender.
Godden lashed home. In stoppage time Russell handled Jamie Turley's back-pass and had to produce a fine stop from Godden's drive from the subsequent indirect free-kick.
Forest Green: S. Russell; J. Turley, A. Racine, E. Oshodi, C. Stokes (J. Hodgkiss 46); Y. Klukowski (L. Hughes 54), P. Green, A. Bangura (A. Barry 79), M. Kelly; M. Taylor, J. Norwood.
Subs not used: D. Wright, P. White.
Star Player: James Norwood.
Next-up: Forest Green v Grimsby, Tuesday, March 18, 7.45pm.