1:55pm Sunday 6th April 2014
By SNJ Sport
Forest Green 1
FUMING Forest Green boss Ady Pennock took a swipe at his side after they crashed to their third straight defeat to leave their scan play-off hopes in tatters, writes Richard Joyce.
Valentin Gjokaj headed play-off chasing Barnet ahead midway through the first half but, James Norwood netted parity after the break with his 16th goal of the season. However, the unfortunate Jared Hodgkiss struck past his own goalkeeper to give Martin Allen's side victory with 10 minutes to go
Pennock has already admitted he is planning for next season, and on this evidence a squad overhaul is on the cards for the man, who inherited all but four of the current side from former boss David Hockaday.
He told BBC Radio Gloucestershire: "The first half was just unacceptable, obviously a lot of things and expletives were said at half- time and I pointed a few things at individuals as well as collectively to the team. That was the worst we've played in a long time.
"If there's a 50-50 header they've got to put their head on it for the cause and the football club, and I didn't see that in the first half.
"When we scored, there was only one team in it, but to be fair looking at the bigger picture, the game is about 95 minutes not 45."
Earlier, Rovers' hamstring curse saw Swindon Town and Bristol Rovers target Jamie Turley limp off with a season ending hamstring injury after eight minutes.
Charlton Athletic midfield loanee Bradley Jordan shone on the left- hand side on his second appearance for the club.
Rovers failed to settle and Barnet hot-shot Jake Hyde brought an excellent save out of Sam Russell. And from the subsequent corner they opened the scoring.
Questionable aerial defending allowed on loan Derby star Gjokaj room to head in from a Marsh Keanu Marsh-Brown corner.
Eventually Rovers began to gain some control, and after Jordan had courageously battled his way into the Barnet area on the half hour mark, the ball fell to Norwood who could only ship his right-footed strike off target.
Barnet continued to pester the Rovers goal throughout the half and Russell saved well from the lively Marsh-Brown.
There was one final opportunity inside the opening half for Rovers, and it came at the cusp of the interval.Yan Klukowski pulled a neat cross into the area, which was met by Lee Hughes only to see former Arsenal keeper Graham Stack to save well at his near post.
Rovers netted parity just after the hour mark. AlBangura sprayed a terrific ball to the right for Klukowski, who was in acres of space, and the midfield man drove an excellent low cross into the box where Norwood fizzed home.
The goal raised Forest Green's tempo instantly, and after Bangura had driven an effort wide, the eye-catching Jordan lashed a strike just wide.
Marsh-Brown continued to try his luck down the other end, only to see his 25 yard strike beaten away by Russell, who couldn't stop Barnet regaining their lead 10 minutes before the end.
It was Marsh-Brown again, making the most of the wings, who broke past the Rovers defence to pull the ball back into the danger zone, where the unfortunate Hodgkiss touched the ball into the goal.
Rovers were going to have to do it all over again in an attempt to draw level, but they came just inches away from doing so as the clock ticked towards the finish.
Klukowski's battling spirit saw him squeeze the ball past Stack. However, the home side managed to clear with substitute Luke Rodgers inches away from pushing the ball in.
Forest Green: S. Russell; J. Turley (A. Barry 8), L. Oliver, E. Oshodi, J. Hodgkiss (D. Wright 90); P. Green, A. Bangura (L. Rodgers 83), B. Jordan; Y. Klukowski, L. Hughes, J. Norwood.
Subs not used: M. Taylor, P. White.
Star Man: Bradley Jordan.
Rovers welcome Kidderminster on Tuesday, 7.45pm.
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