Forest Green 4
By Richard Joyce
Lee Hughes bagged a brace as Forest Green Rovers made it four pre-season wins in a row against Hellenic League Premier Division side Brimscombe and Thrupp.
The former West Bromwich Albion man partnered Jon Parkin up front for Rovers who again fielded separate elevens in either half.
Liam Chilvers,who has been training with Forest Green, was given a run out in Ady Pennock’s back four in the second half following his release from Port Vale at the end of last season.
Evergreen Hughes struck twice in the first half to give Forest Green a commanding position against a well organised Brimscombe side at the break.
Danny Wright and Marcus Kelly then stepped off the bench at the interval to seal the win in the second half.
The hosts managed to secure a consolation goal via Aaron Nash on a pleasant evening at one of Gloucestershire football’s most idyllic football venues.
From the start the Rovers front two of Parkin and Hughes were causing Brimscombe trouble.
Lilywhites shot-stopper Adam Thomas was forced to make smart stops to deny both of Rovers front men.
Thomas couldn’t stop Hughes from the penalty spot though as he stroked home after a dubiously awarded spot kick had been awarded in Rovers favour.
And Hughes netted his second goal only minutes later with a well-executed diving header.
Two further chances in the opening half came from the feet of Parkin but he was denied by Thomas on both occasions.
Changes at the break presented Mike Green’s Brimscombe side with a whole new challenge and from the start Rovers were on the attack.
Chris Stokes made a lively first impression, driving a low cross towards the near post which Wright poked wide.
An outstanding ball from Anthony Barry fed James Norwood but Brismcombe’s replacement keeper, Steve Sparrow, was quick off his line to foil the England C man.
Rovers’ third goal came just before the hour mark as Wright and Rodgers combined brilliantly, just as they had done against Gloucester City a week before, to present Wright with a simple tap in from a Rodgers cross.
Marcus Kelly took advantage of a loose ball in the box to slam home a fourth goal as the home side hit back with a strike of their own just two minutes later.
Ben Deakin fed Nash and the former Slimbridge man stroked a terrific finish past the outstretched arms of Paul White to earn Brimscombe a consolation goal.
Sparrow was called upon to make two important stops to deny Forest Green any further additions to their tally.
The keeper firstly pushed Rodgers stinging effort past the post and he then turned Norwood’s low thump over the bar to bring to a close an entertaining evening of football at the Meadow.
BRIMSCOMBE: A Thomas, L Walsh, J Brodie, S Blackie, A Caldwell, J Davis, J Walker, A Brown, K Nash, B Deakin, O Pitt, C Turner, S Sparrow, D Holloway, A Nash, J Fletcher.
FGR: S Russell, D Pipe, J Jennings, D Bennett, L Oliver, C Kamdjo, S Wedgbury, E Frear, R Sinclair, J Parkin, L Hughes.
Subs: P White, A Baldwin, E Oshodi, L Chilvers, C Stokes, A Bangura, A Barry, J Norwood, M Kelly, L Rodgers, D Wright.