SERVING a two-game touchline ban and erring on the side of  heavy irony, Forest Green boss Mark Cooper claimed his own player dived twice as his side lost at Swindon Town.

Luke Norris’s strike 11 minutes from time won the West County derby and handed Swindon their third straight victory in League Two, but Rovers were spitting feathers when Christian Doidge had two penalty shouts turned down.

Cooper made his dissatisfaction with the referee very clear, he remarked: “Christian (Doidge) has dived,” claimed Cooper. “ I’m very unhappy with Christian. He got through in the box twice and nobody is near him, and he chooses to fall on the floor when he has chance to score his 19th and 20th goals of the season.”

The result sees Town make it back-to-back home wins in the league for the first time this season and also sees David Flitcroft’s side move level on points with the play-off places, but for Cooper it means Rovers drop back into the relegation zone.

Rovers were rocked in the first-half after Farrend Rawson was knocked out after a coming together with Ellis Iandolo. Rovers’ new signing from Derby County was taken to hospital, but is expected to make a swift recovery, according to Cooper.

Chances were at a premium in a match low on quality and Rovers could only register one shot on goal, compared to Swindon’s eleven.

But Cooper felt his side controlled most of the match, he added: “We were comfortable in the game, and I’m expecting us to go on and get that first goal, but if Christian hadn’t dived and took his chance we would have got, but when you’re down the bottom you don’t get that little bit of luck you need, but we have to keep battling hard and if we keep playing like that, we will be fine.

"I thought one or two weren’t at it today, but you can’t play with nine, you need all eleven at it."

The opening exchanges were short on quality – Norris spanking wide for Swindon.

Forest Green’s Brad Collins showed strong hands to touch a Keshi Anderson’s 20th-minute howitzer over after former Forest Green speedster Kaiyne Woolery slipped beyond Rawson. Minutes later Rawson fell to the ground after colliding with Ellis Iandolo and after lengthy on-pitch treatment, Rovers’ new signing was stretchered off.

Swindon seemed to benefit from the five-minute delay as Rovers were forced to rejig their defence.

Coming more into the game, Town striker Norris drove into the box to create an opportunity for Anderson who drew an acrobatic save from Brad Collins.

Opportunities remain scant and Rovers had to wait until the 53rd minute to muster their first shot in anger – Reice Charles-Cook falling on a Doidge hit. Seconds later Doidge was appealing for a penalty when Chris Robertson appeared to nudge Rovers’ hot-shot in the box.

For Swindon, Woolery skewed one wide from the edge of the box with 26 minutes left on the clock.

The increasingly influential Dayle Grubb almost conjured up a chance for Rovers’ Reuben Reid, who was blocked by Matt Preston.

However, Swindon looked the more likely winners and Norris claimed the opener with 11 minutes to go. Brad Collins gloved an Anderson shot, but in the ensuing melee, Norris stabbed the ball home.

Doidge felt he had claims for a late penalty after going down in the box under a Ben Purkiss challenge after sub Keanu Marsh-Brown fashioned the chance.

Despite having already brought in six new signings, with the addition of Haydn Hollis earlier this week from Notts County, Cooper has admitted it has been a difficult transfer window.

“It’s difficult. We always knew it would be difficult and you have to work really hard,” he explained.

“You think you have someone in and then at the last minute; someone else comes in for them and they go somewhere else.

“We’d prefer to sign players permanently but then you’ve got to persuade them that we’re not going to get relegated, we’ll be fine, and it’s a difficult market to work in.”

Watch Mark Cooper deliver his post-match verdict.