Vernam 10, Glennon 53


Bailey 32 ,Aitchison 50

A SUMPTUOUS strike from Birmingham City wonderkid Odin Bailey saw Forest Green end a three-game losing streak with a dogged display at rejuvenated Grimsby Town.

Grimsby, buoyed by the Ian Holloway bounce factor, saw Charles Vernam’s first-half strike give his side the lead, but a fizzing goal from Forest Green’s Birmingham City loanee Bailey saw the sides level at the break. Rovers nosed ahead on 50 minutes through on loan Celtic striker Jack Aitchison, but Anthony Glennon grabbed parity just three minutes later.

An inauspicious and subdued opening 10 minutes offered just a smidge of an opportunity for Forest Green striker Josh March who was a toe from converting a flashing Nathan McGinley cross.

Grimsby broke the stalemate on 20 minutes – a scintillating move cut Rovers open with Vernam applying the finishing gloss with a stinging arrowed strike across Conrad Logan after eye-catching play from Anthony Glennon and James Hanson.

Rovers were right back in it on 32 minutes - Bailey pulled a worldie out of his locker, pulling the trigger from 30 yards to rocket a fizzing strike beyond the flailing James McKeown. Tails up, galvanised Rovers should have nosed in front, but Aitchison somehow lifted the ball over with the goal at his mercy. Josh March saw his close- range header gloved over as Rovers stepped up the pressure.

Five minutes after the restart and Rovers were ahead. Liam Kitching opened Grimsby up for Aitchison to plant the ball beyond McKeown with a clinical finish. Grimsby netted parity just three minutes later – Glennon turning the ball in following Hanson’s glanced header.

Cooper hooked Kevin Dawson with 19 minutes to go, Rob Hall taking his place.

With eight minutes of regular time to go Hall was denied by a sprawling save from McKeown after a lightning break involving Carl Winchester and the fleet-footed Bailey.

Earlier, Cooper made a raft of changes following their 4-1 defeat to Carlisle United on Tuesday night. Matt Mills, Aaron Collins and Rob Hall dropped to the bench. Celtic loanee Jack Aitchison, Nathan McGinley, Kevin Dawson and Dom Bernard came in for the injured Liam Shephard.

Grimsby Town: McKeown (c), Hendrie, Pollock, Öhman, Glennon, Clifton, Benson, Whitehouse, Vernam, Hanson, Clarke Subs: Russell, Tilley, Hewitt, Waterfall, Green, Buckley, Wright

Forest Green Rovers: Logan, Bernard, Rawson, Kitching, McGinley, Dawson (Hall71), Adams, Winchester, Aitchison (Stevens 90), March (Collins 84), Bailey

Subs: Thomas, M. Mills, Stevens, Collins, Williams, Hall, Frear

Attendance: 4, 675

FGR fans: 76

Referee: Paul Marsden

Star Man: Odin Bailey

Next up: Forest Green welcome Walsall on Saturday, 3pm.