FA Cup fourth qualifying round

Gloucester City 1

Forest Green 4

BILLED as the Gloucestershire version of El Clasico, Forest Green gained the 'El Glosico' FA Cup bragging rights over Gloucester City.

There may have been no sign of a Ronaldo or Messi at Whaddon Road, but City and Rovers dished out a spirited West County derby full of vim and vigor.

The 4-1 scoreline flattered Rovers after the Tigers dominated the second half, but a late brace from sub James Norwood afforded Ady Pennock’s side a somewhat fortuitous cup win.

Earlier, veteran strikers Luke Rodgers and Jon Parkin scored either side of a headed goal by Tigers outstanding captain Tom Webb to give the visitors a half-time lead.

After a tepid opening the game roared into life on 21 minutes with Rodgers scoring his first goal in a Rovers shirt.

The diminutive striker started the move with a sweet pass to Elliott Frear, who drifted beyond City right-back Sam Avery for Parkin to calmly side-foot beyond former Forest Green youth keeper Jamie Stephens.

Three minutes later and the Tigers were level. George Miller’s free-kick picked out Webb in the box and the school teacher glanced home beyond the diving Sam Russell.

It was nip and tuck. Dale Bennett’s ball into the box saw former Shortwood striker Adam Mann clear off the line.

City boss Tim Harris must have been spitting feathers as Parkin glanced in a free header from a Marcus Kelly free-kick.

Rovers had a foothold in the tie with Frear and Parkin both going close, but City remained a threat with the experienced Adam Connolly fizzing over in stoppage time.

City peppered Rovers in the second half and were on the front foot in the opening seconds, but only a last-ditch Eddie Oshodi tackle stopped the roaming Webb.

City sub Joe Parker was in menacing form. The Newport loanee opened Rovers up with a mesmerising run, but Oshodi curtailed his run on the edge of the box and during the protests, Sam Wedgbury picked up his fifth booking of the season and with it a one-game suspension. The resulting free-kick from Matt Groves was initially blocked and his follow-up flew over the bar.

The blue touch paper was lit on 59 minutes with tigerish Webb and Bennett seeing yellow after Webb appeared  to push his  hand towards Benett's face  in a moment of grappling.

Former Forest Green favourite Charlier Griffin entered the fray and added a presence to the Tigers front line.

Rovers were pinned back, but in a rare attacking foray, Rob Sinclair opened City up and Rodgers' shot brought a low plunging save from Stephens.

With the tie balanced at 2-1, City were chasing parity and Russell did well to get a glove on a Parker stinger.

City were on the money. A succession of corners saw a  Griffin  header cleared off the line by Kelly and then Webb slashed wide.

However, City were killed off in a devastating Forest Green late show. Frear's pull-back saw  Norwood fire into the net via a deflection.

Two minutes later Parkin's strength in midfield and  defence-splitting pass put Norwood in the clear again, and he slipped beyond Stephens to make it 4-1.

Gloucester City: J. Stephens; S. Avery (C. Jones 70), M. Williams, S. Hamilton, M. Green; M. Groves, G. Miller, T. Webb, A. Connolly; N. Modest (C. Griffin 59), A. Mann (J. Parker 46).

Subs not used: M. Richards, W. Greenwood, T. Haswell, H. Rivers.

Forest Green: S. Russell; D. Bennett, E. Oshodi, D. Coles, M. Kelly; K. Guthrie (J. Norwood 78), R. Sinclair, S. Wedgbury (C. Kamdjo 73), E. Frear; J. Parkin, L. Rodgers (C. Jolley 85); Subs not used: D. Pipe, L. Oliver, C. Stokes, L. McGrory.

Star Men: Marcus Kelly and Tom Webb.

Attendance: 2,067.

Away: 668.


For full picture gallery CLICK HERE