3:54pm Tuesday 20th November 2012
Exclusive By Ashley Loveridge
SAM Russell produced a goalkeeping masterclass with the help of Stroud seamstress Edna Powell.
Russell had desperately been searching for extra Velcro to go on the wrist straps for the trusted tools of his trade, so SNJ sports editor Ashley Loveridge recommended Edna, owner of Stroud-based Cotswold Sewing and Knitting Machines.
"Like most goalkeepers I am very particular with my gloves," said Russell.
"Edna did a brilliant job for me and has done a whole batch of gloves now."
Russell’s outstanding display saw play-off chasing Forest Green escape with a point in a 2-2 draw at struggling Barrow after Matty Taylor’s 88th minute goal - leaving David Hockaday’s side just two points off the top.
Edna was certainly pleased to have come in handy for Russell.
She said: "I sprinkled some magic dust on them for him and I was delighted he was named man-of-the match, so it looks like it worked."
Earlier, James Norwood's sixth goal of the season on 15 minutes was cancelled out by Adam Boyes on the stroke of half-time, and a shock victory looked to have been completed by Matt Flynn before Taylor’s last-gasp goal.
Hockaday made two changes from the team that beat Stockport County 4-1, Jared Hodgkiss replaced ankle injury victim Ed Asafu-Adjaye at right-back and Omar Koroma given only his second start of the season in attack.
Midfielder Yan Klukowski provided the opening goal with a free-kick from the right which was headed smartly home by an unmarked Norwood.
Koroma produced a low save from Danny Hurst as the former Portsmouth striker broke through.
Russell caught the eye when he superbly foiled Boyes . However, just before the break Boyes raced onto Joe Jackson's pass and flashed a strike beyond Russell to net parity.
Russell’s heroics preserved the stalemate with two outstanding saves from Richie Baker and a Hessey's free-kick.
Barrow remained on the front-foot at the start of the second period, and Aarran Racine vital interception spared captain Eddie Oshodi’s blushes. Russell conjured up two stuning saves as Barrow turned up the heat. However, he was helpless to prevent Flynn scoring.
With minutes to go Rovers claimed a point. Stephen Brogan’s free-kick from the left saw Taylor strike with a diving header for his eighth goal of the season.
Forest Green: S. Russell; J. Hodgkiss, A. Racine, E. Oshodi, C. Stokes; P. Green, A. Bangura (S. Brogan 63), Y. Klukowski (M. Vieira 76); O. Koroma (R. Styche 54), M. Taylor, J. Norwood.
Subs not used: J. Rowe, M. Bulman.
Referee: D. Handley (Lancs)
Star man: Sam Russell – Edna’s Velcro stitching skills helped the Forest Green stopper earn a point for his side.
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