Collins 11, Jones OG 78


Thomas 40, 76

FOREST GREEN are into the hat for round three, but will face an FA Cup replay at Carlisle after fighting out a 2-2 draw.

Carlisle started with new head coach Chris Beech at the helm and his appointment failed to give the Cumbrians the desired bounce required as Rovers raced into a 11th minute lead. Goalkeeper Adam Collin’s powder-puff purchase on a Liam Shephard cross saw the ball come back off the bar to drop on a plate for Aaron Collins to nod in from point-blank range.

Rovers were on the money – Stevens glancing wide from a Dom Bernard cut-back.

And Rovers were a smidge from making it 2-0 with 10 minutes of the first-half to go. Jack Aitchison was handed the opportunity to release Shephard who saw his fizzing strike gloved up into the air and onto the bar by Collin with the covering Aaron Hayden hacking clear.

Carlisle were back in the tie on 40 minutes. Rovers were caught dithering and Nathan Tomas cut in to arrow a ball postage-stamp into the top corner of Joe Wollacott’s net.

Rovers’ riposte was immediate – Collin parried Shephard’s cross into the path of Collins, who inexplicably kicked thin air with the goal at his mercy.

Deep into stoppage-time Thomas booted off the line from a towering Stevens’ header from a Joe Mills corner.

Rovers dominated the football, but Carlisle started the second-half with the bit between their teeth – Thomas arching over from the edge of the box.

Cooper turned to his bench on 65 minutes – hooking Aitchison for speedster Junior Mondal.

With Adams already on a yellow, Cooper opted to usher on Kevin Dawson with 22 minutes to go.

Rovers were stung on 76 minutes. Canice Carroll drove forward from midfield to release substitute Hallam Hope and his sumptuous ball into the box was turned in by Thomas for his second of the game.

Two minutes later and Rovers found parity – Gethin Jones turning into his own net.

Rovers almost pinched it with five minutes to go, Stevens planted a header into Collin from a Joe Mills cross

Forest Green Rovers: Wollacott, Bernard (Grubb 85), Rawson, Kitching; J Mills, Adams (Dawson 68), Winchester, Shephard, Aitchison (Mondal 65), Collins, Stevens

Bookings: Adams 53

Subs not used: Thomas, Taylor, McGinley, Morton

Carlisle United: Collin, G Jones, Iredale (Melliah 83), Webster, Hayden, M Jones, Carroll, Scougall, Thomas, Olomola (McKirdy 74), Loft (Hope 58).

Bookings: Jones 20,Webster 30

Subs: Gray, Bridge, Knight-Percival, Sagaf.

Attendance: 1,504

Away fans: 228

Referee: Trevor Kettle

Star Man: Liam Shephard

Next up: Forest Green welcome League Two Scunthorpe next Saturday, 3PM.