STEVE Morison’s Sutton were thrown a survival lifeline as Josh Coley’s first-half goal proved enough to earn a crucial 1-0 League Two victory at relegation-rivals Forest Green.

Bottom-of-the-table Sutton planted the first glove on Rovers inside three minutes when Oli Sanderson’s flighted cross was nodded on to the top of Norwich loanee Vicente Reyes’ crossbar from Coley.

Charlie Lakin rattled the base of Rovers’ post with a skidding strike from outside the box.

The hosts’ first opportunity arrived after 21 minutes as Christian Doidge lifted the ball over the crossbar and – moments later – Tyrese Omotoye stabbed his shot against the foot of Steve Arnold’s post.

Sutton broke the deadlock five minutes before the break as Coley clipped a delightful strike beyond the outstretched glove of Reyes.

From the second-half get-go, Rovers were hunting parity. Arnold grabbed Ryan Inniss’ downward header from a Dominic Thompson corner and a brave Sam Hart defensive header denied Forest Green striker Doidge at the far post as Sutton held out.

Rovers drop back into the bottom two on goal difference behind Colchester, with Sutton three points further back having played one game more.

It also ended Rovers' two-game winning run after back-to-back victories in the last week.

Steve Cotterill's men are back in action on Saturday with a trip to 18th-placed Doncaster Rovers.