GEORGE Williams scored a stunning hat-trick as Forest Green produced a Christmas cracker to close in on the automatic promotion places. 

The Welshman gave Rovers the lead after just three minutes before Tahvon Campbell doubled their lead on 44 minutes. 

Newport pulled one back with a Padraig Amond penalty. The Exiles were reduced to 10-men just after the break before Williams completed his hat-trick with a goal-of the-season contender and a neat finish in a dominant second half.

Mark Cooper made one change from the team that beat Crewe Alexandra 1-0 at the weekend as Campbell came in for Reuben Reid who dropped to the bench. 

Reece Brown began just off Campbell and Williams who played up top alongside former West Bromwich Albion man. 

Rovers got off to the perfect start and were in front after just three minutes. George Williams scored his second goal in three games as he bent in a stunning free-kick which dipped perfectly into the top corner. 

The first half was quite scrappy and Forest Green struggled to move the ball as fluidly as they have done this season. 

Newport had a couple of chances through Tyreeq Bakinson, who curled one over the bar, and Padraig Amond who headed straight at James Montgomery. 

There was a raucious atmosphere at Rodney Parade which was sparked to life when Reece Brown and David Pipe squared up which saw the Exiles defender go into the book. 

Challenges started to fly in as this already physical battle, intensified. 

The best moment of the first half came on 44 minutes. Joseph Mills took out two Newport players with his pass into Brown who then slipped Campbell through. 

The striker then showed brilliant composure to turn his man and slot the ball into the corner.

It looked like the perfect time to score but just as the fourth official announced four minutes of added time, Newport were awarded a penalty when Montgomery fouled Amond as he climed to punch the ball. 

The striker sent Montgomery the wrong way with his low penalty as they pulled a goal back. 

The second half picked up where the first left off as Dan Butler was sent off six minutes after the restart. Williams was played through by Brown, he got infront of Butler who hacked him down and the referee didn't hesitate in producing a red card. 

Then came the moment of the match, the month and quite possibly the season for Rovers.

Williams stepped up again and placed yet another gorgeous free kick that he bent into the top corner from 35 yards. 

It got even better for Rovers and Williams on 58 minutes as the Welshman completed his hat-trick after playing a lovely one-two with Campbell before he bended the ball into the far corner.

Forest Green were toying with Newport from then on and kept the ball for around five minutes at one stage. Brown wasn't far off from making 5-1 but his driven shot was palmed away by Day on 69 minutes. 

Substitute Dayle Grubb and Liam Shephard stung the palms of Day late as Rovers looked to put the brandy on top of the Christmas pudding but it remained 4-1 as they recorded their seventh away league win. 

FGR remain seventh.