League Two

Scunthorpe United 1

Forest Green Rovers 0

NEWCASTLE UNITED target John McAtee caught Forest Green cold as Rovers’ winless run stretched to eight games.

McAtee, who is being monitored by Steve Bruce’s Premiers League side, pounced a minute after the restart to punish a lacklustre Rovers, who have posted just two wins from their last 20 matches.

Making two changes, head coach Mark Cooper drafted in George Williams after his late point-saver at Oldham Athletic last time out. The Welsh international started ahead of Celtic loanee Jack Aitchison. Udoka Godwin-Malife returned from his loan spell at Eastleigh with Jevani Brown dropping to the bench.

It took 15 minutes for the first shot in anger - Forest Green’s George Williams letting fly from the edge of the box, his shot deflecting wide of Rory Watson’s goal.

Rovers were beginning to get a foothold in the game, their possession-based football catching the eye. Aaron Collins tried to break the deadlock when arching over the bar from 25 yards.

The game was hardly raising the pulses, but Dutch dangerman Kevin van Veen tried to buck the trend when fizzing a ball across the Rovers’ box.

Looking to break the first-half stalemate, Rovers dominance on the ball was telling as they registered seven corners inside the opening half-hour.

On the cusp of the break, a last-gasp Chris Stokes interception kept the score at deadlock, the impeccable Forest Green defender stuck out a toe to clear as James Perch readied himself to shoot.

Ironic cheers emanated from the restless home crowd when Jordan Gabriel registered the first shot on target in the game, with a minute of a forgettable first-half to go.

Rovers were caught cold on 46 minutes – Abo Eisa rolled in McAtee who finished with aplomb beyond the exposed Lewis Thomas.

Shell-shocked, Rovers were almost punished minutes later. The fleet-footed McAtee cut inside the retreating Godwin-Malife and fired into the relieved Thomas.

Cooper had seen enough, making triple changes on 64 minutes – hooking Godwin-Malife, Collins and Williams for Josh March, Jack Aitchison and Rob Hall.

Only a block from Thomas prevented van Veen an opportunity, but a heavy touch from The Iron striker spared Rovers’ blushes with 16 minutes left on the clock.

Farrend Rawson planted a free header over the bar from a lofted Nathan McGinley free-kick with seven minutes to go and then Ebou Adams saw his strike blocked by Lewis Butroid as Rovers ran out of puff and ideas.

SCUNTHORPE UNITED: Watson, Butler, Perch, Gabriel, Butroid, Gilliead, McArdle, Eisa, Bedeau, van Veen (Miller 95), McAtee

Subs not used: Kelsey, Songo'o, Green, Beestin, Rowe, Liddle

Bookings: McAtee 17, Eisa 61, Gilliead 72, Butler 83

FOREST GREEN: Thomas, Godwin-Malife (Hall 64), Stokes, Rawson, Kitching, McGinley, Adams, Winchester, Dawson, Williams (Aitchison 64), Collins (March 64)

Subs not used: Logan, Frear, Brown, Stevens

Bookings: Williams 48

Attendance: 3,706

Referee: Carl Boyson

Star Man: Chris Stokes