Forest Green boss Mark Cooper felt Gavin Gunning's sending off was 'a little bit harsh.' 

The defender was given his marching orders after 15 minutes for kicking out after he was fouled by Jay Harris. 

His dismissal proved decisive as Ollie Banks' wonderstrike soon followed but the Rovers boss felt hard done by with the decision. 

"It looks a little bit harsh for me," said Cooper. "He's flicked out with his leg. It's not a stamp he's just flicked out with his leg, it's a foul for us and he's flicked out so it looked harsh to me.

"He's adament he didn't kick out, the momentum of the tackle which was a foul to us took him into their player.

"I think if you look over the last two nights in the play-offs some of the decisions  are incredible." 

Cooper was also frustrated his side weren't awarded a penalty after Christian Doidge and George Williams both went down in the box. 

"We should have had two penalties," he insisted.  

"The fourth official said the referee thought he dived - Our top goalscorer through on goal and he chose to dive on the penalty spot. 

"We were up against it tonight but we came through it manfully but we've gave ourselves an opportunity at the home game." 

The Forest Green chief was still in a positive mood despite the defeat and feels all his players can hold their heads high for the way they battled to stay in the tie. 

"We've had a brilliant performance," Cooper said.  

"It's a moral victory, for us to do what we did with 10 men and to still be in the tie, it's a proud night for Forest Green.

"We've got a lot of confidence, a lot of belief and the concentration defending that goal was magnificent. 

"We said before the game we wanted to be in the tie, I spoke at half time about dealing with adversity and we did tonight." 

Rovers will now prepare for the return leg at the New Lawn on Monday evening.