Prosser 31 OG


FOREST GREEN catapulted themselves up to third in the table with their fifth 1-0 win of the season.

Colchester captain Luke Prosser’s 31st minute own goal gaffe handed Mark Cooper’s side victory in a game inspired by Rovers’ Celtic loanee Jack Aitchison.

Prosser and Cambridge goalkeeper Dean Gerken got in a tangle as a James Morton ball into the box clipped Prosser and rolled into the net.

Fresh from his debut match-winning impact off the bench at Cambridge United, Celtic loanee Jack Aitchison started for Mark Cooper’s side in place of Taylor Allen. Dayle Grubb dropped out of the starting eleven with Bristol City loanne James Morton coming in. Dom Bernard started in a rejigged back three. Kevin Dawson missed out due a calf injury.

With Forest Green chairman and green energy giant Dale Vince kicking the political football by taking a legal fight to prevent Prime Minster Boris Johnson forcing through a no-deal Brexit, it was his football side who tried to lay down the law inside the opening 20 minutes.

From the get-go, Intricate play from the early influential Aitchison saw Matty Stevens take a tumble inside the box with Tom Eastman appearing to clip his feet. Rovers kept up their intent.

Aitchison was pulling the strings. Picking up a ball from the cultured feet of Morton he fed Stevens who saw his shot beaten down succinctly by former Bristol City keeper Dean Gerken, with Kyle Taylor’s follow up strike deflected over.

Rovers hit the straps on 31 minutes. Morton’s arrowed ball from outside the box saw Colchester keeper Gerken and Luke Prosser get into a tangle with the ball clipping Prosser and rolling into the net.

Sixty seconds later and Rovers should have been 2-0 up. Stevens picked his spot but fired into a relieved Gerken from a Udoka Godwin-Malife cross.

Rovers were going through the gears. Stevens picked Gerken’s pocket and his turn and shot flew over with Gerken all at sea.

Colchester had offered little attacking intent, but quick feet from Lewis Thomas denied Luke Gambin after Frank Nouble’s flick opened Rovers up with three minutes of the half remaining.

Rovers opened the second period on the front foot. Carl Winchester stepped on the gas to drive into the box and his pass to Kyle Taylor was blocked in the box – with  Colchester caught cold.

A Luke Norris pot shot and a misdirected header was a quick riposte from the visitors who were searching for a way back into the game.

Aitchison was Rovers’ jewel – scampering down the left to find Joseph Mills who spanked over the bar.

Colchester reminded Rovers  they were still in the game when Courtney Senior raced through but fizzed wide with just Thomas to beat.

Cooper hooked Taylor with 30 minutes to go with speedster Junior Mondal entering the fray.

Rovers smelled a second – Mills hitting the wall with a free-kick and then Farrend Rawson heading wide.

Colchester came close to parity on 70 minutes – Frank Nouble hitting the post from close in following a Brandon Wiredu cut-back.

Rovers pressed self-destruct button with Thomas had his pocket picked by Senior after a dribbling excursion, but they rode their luck with Rawson sparing his blushes.

Forest Green Rovers: Thomas, Bernard, Godwin-Malife (Shephard 72), Kitching, Rawson, J Mills, Winchester, Morton (Adams 84), Taylor (Mondal 60), Stevens, Aitchison

Subs not used: Wollacott, Grubb, Allen, Adams, McGinley

Bookings: Morton 79, Kitching 82, Stevens 88

Star Man: Jack Aitchison

Colchester United: Gerken, Jackson, Lapslie, Prosser, Senior, Norris, Eastman, Clampin (Wiredu 66), Stevenson, Gambin ( Poku 77), Nouble ( Robinson 74)

Subs not used: Ross, Sowunmi, Cowan-Hall, Chilvers

Bookings: Wiredu 71 ,Lapslie 75, Prosser 82

Attendance: 2,758

Referee: Will Finnie

Next up: Forest Green travel to Carlisle United on Tuesday, (7.45pm).