A first half strike from Anthony Jeffrey helped Forest Green Rovers lift the Gloucestershire Senior Cup at The New Lawn against Southern League South & West Division side Bishop’s Cleeve, writes Richard Joyce.

Jeffrey’s goal was enough to earn a 1-0 win as Forest Green claimed the first silverware of what the club will hope to be the biggest seven days in its history.

A team led by first-team players Jon Parkin, Sam Wedgbury and Marcus Kelly, included David Pipe, Clovis Kamdjo, Delano Sam-Yorke, Louis McGrory and goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley.

Meanwhile the rest of the squad was made up of academy youngsters who demonstrated the qualities they have shown throughout this year’s competition with assured performances all round.

Kamdjo produced the first shot of the night, a right-footed hit that flew just wide, while Jeffrey’s direct approach almost saw him break the deadlock when his strong shot smashed onto the bar following Pipe’s stunning diagonal ball.

It had been a dominant opening quarter of an hour from FGR, but shortly after Cleeve began to settle Jeffrey netted with the competition winner.

The former Arsenal man seized upon the ball just outside the area and slammed home to break the deadlock.

The visitors had a chance to level almost right away. However defender Leroy Odiero couldn’t capitalise at a set piece as he attempted to squeeze in at the back post.

After Kamdjo had narrowly fired over from distance early in the second half, Bishop’s Cleeve, who had defeated Slimbridge in the semi-finals to reach this stage, grabbed control of the tie.

Pidgeley saved twice from Jack Watts and Jordan Bryan, while at the other end FGR Academy first year Tom Anderson’s brilliant work saw him tee-up Delano Sam-Yorke who could only fire over.

A number of efforts rained in late on for the away side as they attempted to force the game into a penalty shootout.

They came close, but not close enough though, as Watts, Shane Bumphrey and Elliott Kennedy were all denied when setting themselves in front of goal.

The full-time whistle saw Forest Green’s run in the competition culminate in the team’s first silverware of the season, following victories over Bristol City, Shortwood United and Bristol Rovers earlier on in the campaign, and now FGR will be looking for something similar at Wembley this weekend.