THEO ARCHIBALD’S last-gasp 94th minute thunderbolt handed Forest Green a heart-thumping victory over Northampton Town.

With virtually the last kick of the game, the Brentford Town loanee pulled the trigger from 25 yards to take the roof off at the New Lawn.

Northampton looked to have grabbed a point when Sam Foley’s 50th minute header netted parity for the Cobblers.

Earlier, Rovers opened 2019 with a bang. With just two minutes on the clock – Welsh wizard George Williams pounced to notch his fifth goal in three games after sumptuous skills from Reece Brown fashioned the opportunity for a routine tap in.

It was all Rovers – Carl Winchester spanking one wide from the edge of the box as a shell-shocked Northampton looked to be nursing a New Year’s Eve hangover.

Curle’s side continued to struggle to find a foothold. That man Williams continued to be a thorn in their side, and his link up play saw him trade passes with Brown and Tahvon Campbell before fizzing a strike into the body of David Cornell.

On this form, Welsh international Williams, will be knocking on the door of Ryan Giggs’ squad again. Simply head and shoulders above the level – he picked the ball up in a central position and unleashed a howitzer that dropped a smidge wide of the post with Cornell sprawling across his goal.

Deep into injury time LIoyd James stepped on the gas and drilled a ball across the Northampton box and in the ensuing melee bookings were incurred for Northampton’s Cornell and Rovers’ Liam Shepherd.

Northampton fired early second-half intent – Matt Crooks striking from the edge of the box into the gloves of Montgomery. And they found parity on 50 minutes –  Foley planting his header home.

Rovers were up against it. Cooper moved to freshen things up  - hooking Brown and McGinley for Digby and Grubb.

It was end-to-end and  Rovers were starting to turn up the heat. Shephard arrowed a ball into the six-yard box, and Williams strike was smothered by the on-rushing David Cornell before he fired his follow-up over the bar.

With 15 minutes to go  Grubb stepped on the gas and his stinger spanked the post, but Williams was denied by a Northampton block.

The Cobblers came close to nailing Rovers with four minutes to go – Sam Hoskins a whisker away from touching home a Dean Bowditch cross.

Deep into stoppage time, Rovers’ substitute Archibald arrowed home from the edge of the box to send promotion-chasing Rovers up to fifth.

Forest Green Rovers : (3-5-2) Montgomery; McGinley (Grubb 62), Gunning, Rawson; James Digby 62), Winchester, Brown, Shephard, Mills; Williams, Campbell (Archibald 69)

Subs not used: Thomas, Collins, Morris, Reid

Cobblers: Cornell, Facey, Taylor, J Williams, Hoskins, Buchanan (c), Turnbull, Foley, Crooks (Bridge 90), A Williams (Bowditch 75), Morias (van Veen 61)

Subs not used: Coddington, Odoffin, Powell, Waters

Referee: K Johnson

Attendance: 2,909

Away: 593

Star Man: George Williams

Next up: Rovers travel to Oldham Athletic  on January 12