National League - 1st Leg
Forest GreenForest Green Rovers0Bristol RoversBristol Rovers1

Forest Green Rovers 0-1 Bristol Rovers

Matty Taylor
Bristol Rovers forward Matty Taylor scored his 19th goal of the season

Bristol Rovers will take a narrow lead into the home leg of their Conference play-off semi-final despite ending with 10 men at Forest Green Rovers.

Rovers clinched victory after Matty Taylor rounded home keeper Steve Arnold to convert against his former club from a tight angle.

Away forward Ellis Harrison was dismissed with little under 15 minutes left for a second bookable offence.

The hosts pressed for a leveller with Charlie Clough hitting the post.

But the Pirates, who are aiming for an instant return to the Football League, held on to go into Sunday's return leg at the Memorial Ground with a slender advantage.

Forest Green boss Ady Pennock told BBC Radio Gloucestershire:

"Before the game we wanted to still be in the tie and we definitely are, but we can't play like we did first half.

"I think we just gave them too much respect - Steve Arnold kept us in the tie.

"I said a lot of things at half time which I had to and I haven't said for a long time, but second half was much better.

"We were in their faces more and worked harder, but we should be doing that from the start."

Bristol Rovers manager Darrell Clarke told BBC Radio Bristol:

"I thought in the first 45 minutes we were excellent. We were a little bit unfortunate not to score a few more goals.

"We played some really good football and were on the front foot.

"It's testament to my boys that, having missed out on the title on Saturday, there was no hangover, no disappointment and no players feeling sorry for themselves.

"In the second half, as you'd expect, Forest Green came into it a bit more, though they only really started to ask questions of us when we went down to 10 men. But the boys saw it through."


Forest Green

Formation 4-4-2

  • 13Arnold
  • 2Pipe
  • 16Racine
  • 19Sinclair
  • 6BennettBooked at 65mins
  • 4CloughBooked at 72mins
  • 18FrearSubstituted forMarwoodat 89'minutes
  • 8Wedgbury
  • 9FleetwoodSubstituted forNorwoodat 65'minutes
  • 17Guthrie
  • 20ParkinBooked at 90mins


  • 1Russell
  • 7Norwood
  • 12Kamdjo
  • 26Coles
  • 33Marwood

Bristol Rovers

Formation 4-4-2

  • 25Puddy
  • 4Lockyer
  • 5McChrystal
  • 7MansellSubstituted forO Clarkeat 90+4'minutes
  • 3Brown
  • 6Parkes
  • 11GoslingSubstituted forBlissettat 81'minutes
  • 14Lines
  • 23Monkhouse
  • 17HarrisonBooked at 77mins
  • 10Taylor


  • 1Mildenhall
  • 2Leadbitter
  • 8O Clarke
  • 27Blissett
  • 29Balanta
Lee Swabey

Match Stats

Home TeamForest GreenAway TeamBristol Rovers
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Forest Green Rovers 0, Bristol Rovers 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Forest Green Rovers 0, Bristol Rovers 1.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Aarran Racine (Forest Green Rovers).

  4. Post update

    Chris Lines (Bristol Rovers) wins a free kick.

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, Bristol Rovers. Ollie Clarke replaces Lee Mansell.

  6. Post update

    Charlie Clough (Forest Green Rovers) hits the bar with a header from the centre of the box. Assisted by Rob Sinclair.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Forest Green Rovers.

  8. Post update

    Foul by James Norwood (Forest Green Rovers).

  9. Post update

    Lee Mansell (Bristol Rovers) wins a free kick.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Jon Parkin (Forest Green Rovers).

  11. Post update

    Will Puddy (Bristol Rovers) wins a free kick.

  12. Booking

    Jon Parkin (Forest Green Rovers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Forest Green Rovers. James Marwood replaces Elliott Frear.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Forest Green Rovers.

  15. Post update

    Foul by David Pipe (Forest Green Rovers).

  16. Post update

    Matty Taylor (Bristol Rovers) wins a free kick.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Kurtis Guthrie (Forest Green Rovers) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by James Norwood with a cross.

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Aarran Racine (Forest Green Rovers) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.

  19. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Dale Bennett (Forest Green Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  20. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Sam Wedgbury (Forest Green Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

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