National League - 1st Leg
Forest Green0Bristol 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:

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Pennock on FGR v Bristol Rovers

"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."

Line-ups

Forest Green

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

Substitutes

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

Bristol Rovers

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

Substitutes

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

Match Stats

Home TeamForest GreenAway TeamBristol Rovers
Possession
Home40%
Away60%
Shots
Home13
Away16
Shots on Target
Home3
Away6
Corners
Home11
Away11
Fouls
Home15
Away16

Live Text

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

Full Time

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

Foul by Aarran Racine (Forest Green Rovers).

Chris Lines (Bristol Rovers) wins a free kick.

Substitution

Substitution, Bristol Rovers. Ollie Clarke replaces Lee Mansell.

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

Corner, Forest Green Rovers.

Foul by James Norwood (Forest Green Rovers).

Lee Mansell (Bristol Rovers) wins a free kick.

Foul by Jon Parkin (Forest Green Rovers).

Will Puddy (Bristol Rovers) wins a free kick.

Booking

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

Substitution

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

Corner, Forest Green Rovers.

Foul by David Pipe (Forest Green Rovers).

Matty Taylor (Bristol Rovers) wins a free kick.

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.

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

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

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

Substitution

Substitution, Bristol Rovers. Nathan Blissett replaces Jake Gosling.

Foul by Lee Mansell (Bristol Rovers).

Kurtis Guthrie (Forest Green Rovers) wins a free kick.

Foul by Mark McChrystal (Bristol Rovers).

Kurtis Guthrie (Forest Green Rovers) wins a free kick.

Attempt missed. Kurtis Guthrie (Forest Green Rovers) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.

Foul by Matty Taylor (Bristol Rovers).

Charlie Clough (Forest Green Rovers) wins a free kick.

Dismissal

Second yellow card to Ellis Harrison (Bristol Rovers) for a bad foul.

Foul by Ellis Harrison (Bristol Rovers).

Steve Arnold (Forest Green Rovers) wins a free kick.

Foul by Charlie Clough (Forest Green Rovers).

Matty Taylor (Bristol Rovers) wins a free kick.

Offside, Bristol Rovers. Matty Taylor tries a through ball, but Matty Taylor is caught offside.

Foul by Dale Bennett (Forest Green Rovers).

Matty Taylor (Bristol Rovers) wins a free kick.

Foul by Lee Mansell (Bristol Rovers).

Elliott Frear (Forest Green Rovers) wins a free kick.

Foul by Charlie Clough (Forest Green Rovers).

Will Puddy (Bristol Rovers) wins a free kick.

goal

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