Jamille Matt’s second-half header sent Forest Green back to the top of Sky Bet League Two in a turgid clash at home to Northampton on Saturday.

Rovers fashioned the first opportunity when Regan Hendry fizzed the ball out to Nicky Cadden and he flicked it up to send a sumptuous strike towards the Northampton goal but keeper Liam Roberts did well to palm over.

In a war of attrition, Kane Wilson and Aaron McGowan traded yellow cards.

Jack Aitchison broke free to feed Matty Stevens and his fierce goalbound shot was touched over by Roberts on the stroke of half-time.

The tempo increased after the break, with Aitchison forcing Roberts into a diving save and Cadden bending an effort over.

Northampton were indebted to Roberts with 23 minutes to go as he parried a well-struck shot from Wilson straight to Matt but his poked attempt was cleared spectacularly off the line by McGowan.

Rovers grabbed the only goal of the game with 13 minutes to go. Cadden arrowed the ball into the box for Matt to plant a cushioned header beyond Roberts for his fifth goal of the season.

Boss Rob Edwards, who was named manager of the month for August, said his players were 'exceptional'.

“Northampton are good at what they do and asked lots of questions of us but we defended really well. As the game progressed and as we got into the second half, we started to ask questions of them and created chances.

“We limited Northampton to very little.

“(Goalkeeper) Liam Roberts made two or three great saves and I don’t know how they cleared the ball off the line. I was walking down the touchline as I thought Jammer (Jamille Matt) had scored.

“I thought Cadds (Nicky Cadden) and Kane (Wilson) were outstanding. We retained a real threat and we know we can get more from these players, but I’m delighted to get another three points.”