THERE will be no FA Cup romance for Forest Green this season as Sutton’s Roarie Deacon’s 90th-minute winner broke Rovers’ hearts.

It started brightly on the 3G plastic pitch with Liam Noble opening the scoring for the National League leaders, but former Forest Green winger Ross Stearn netted parity before the break.

Rovers had their chance after the interval but Deacon’s last-gasp winner gave Sutton a place in the first round proper.

Cooper made three changes to the team that beat North Ferriby.

Elliott Frear, fresh from his brace at Weston was again handed a start at centre-forward alongside Christian Doidge, with Rhys Murphy and Kieffer Moore making way.

Meanwhile, a gentlemen’s agreement saw former Sutton player Dan Wishart sit out the tie after his recent transfer to Rovers – Aarran Racine replaced him at the back.

Sutton started brightly, but Sam Russell did well to block with his legs from a driven Ross Stearn strike. Rovers were being contained, but a scampering run from Drissa Traore finished with Darren Carter driving over from 25 yards.

Dale Bennett’s runs down the right were catching the eye and from his endeavours, Rovers earned a corner from which they opened the scoring on 25 minutes.

Captain Noble curled one in on the angle and beyond the groping Ross Wormer as Carter’s corner dropped to the former Notts County midfielder.

Rovers were on the money. Fabien Robert firing acrobatically over from outside the box after a Bennett cross.

Rovers looked comfortable, but Sutton found parity 10 minutes before the break as Carter fouled to present a chance from a set play and it was Stearn who profited as his stinging 30 yard free-kick skidder touched Russell’s gloves on the way in – their first goal conceded in five matches.

Carter and Noble saw shots blocked in the dying embers of the first half and then Russell did well to deny Sutton’s Craig Eastmond, who had bolted onto a long Jamie Collins’ ball with Rovers’ defence found wanting.

Rovers opened the second period with purpose – Frear finding Noble but his shot was well wide.

Robert was finding his feet and his clever cross saw Doidge incur a booking after he tried to punch the ball home.

Doidge was replaced just after the hour with Kieffer Moore entering the action. Rovers continued to press, but Wormer did well to block a Traore fizzer and Robert inexplicably fired the free ball over, but an offside flag spared his blushes.

Sutton should have nosed ahead but Dean Beckwith directed his header wide when scoring would have been easier.

Sutton’s Bedsente Gomis found himself yellow-carded for a foul on Noble and from his free-kick Racine failed to get enough purchase on his 78th-minute header.

It was nip and tick – Roarie Deacon thumping one wide of Russell’s post.

And, then, Ethan Pinnock forced Worner into a tip over after great work by sub Keanu Marsh-Brown.

Rovers were caught in possession as Eastmond picked Traore’s pocket from a short Carter pass, but his strike flew fractionally wide as the clocked ticked.

On the cusp of the final whistle Russell superbly denied sub Chris Dickson, but he was powerless to stop Deacon smashing home on 90 minutes from a George Mclennan cross.

However, Charlie Clough could have forced a replay for Rovers, but he missed from inside the box against his former club.

Forest Green: (4-4-2) Russell; Bennett, Racine, Clough, Pinnock; Traore, Noble, Carter, Robert Marsh-Brown, 77); Frear, Doidge (Moore, 62).

Subs not used: Lefebrve, Kelly, Jefford,Murphy.

Referee: C Brook

Attendance: 751

Star Man: Dale Bennett.