Blue Square Premier: Forest Green 3 Ebbsfleet 1

First published in Gloucestershire Sport by

FOREST Green produced an excellent second half performance to make it a very Good Friday.

David Hockaday's side made it a fourth win in five Blue Square Bet Premier matches against a durable Ebbsfleet side.

Hockaday will now have to pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat to get his side into the play-offs with just four games to play.

Hockaday said: "All we can do is get a maximum of 76 points and see what happens around us.

"In the first half, for 15 minutes, I thought we were excellent but we couldn't hit a barn door with a banjo and then we went a little bit flat. We didn't do the basics and they've had a free header for 1-0.

"It's a great result. In the second half we played some great stuff and we found a way to win the game."

Rovers started brightly enough. Keiron Forbes stepped on the gas only to see Liam Henderson strike wide.

Rovers continued to impress. Yan Klukowski's curling free-kick was missed by Lance Cronin and Eddie Oshodi was a whisker away from profiting at the back stick.

Henderson went close following neat Matty Taylor control.

However, Fleet rallied. Joe Howe smacked Sam Russell's crossbar on 17 minutes and three minutes later Liam Daish's side were ahead.

Captain Paul Lorraine rose to nod in a free header from Michael West's corner, despite Russell doing well to get a glove to the ball.

Russell kept Rovers in the game as he saved smartly from the robust Calum Willock, who brushed aside the out-of-sorts Oshodi.

Rovers regained their momentum in the 32nd minute. Chris Stokes saw his thumping a header fly into the Rockwool stand from Klukowski's corner.

Seven minutes later Rovers hit the bar. The busy Michael Uwezu saw his strike deflected onto the bar from a Klukowski free-kick with Jamie Turley seeing his follow up blocked.

Rovers were in the ascendancy as the first half drew to a close, and Taylor sent a volley over from Uwezu's lay-off.

Rovers scored three second half goals in their last home match and they were at it again two minutes after the break with a rare Forbes goal. Henderson showed strength to hold the ball up and fed the onrushing Forbes for a 20-yard shot that flew past unsighted keeper Cronin.

Forbes came close to a second, but this time his curler missed the target following Taylor's pass.

The out of favour Jake Thomson entered the fray on 56 minutes for Oshodi and his impact was telling.

He found Forbes, who picked out Klukowski to allow Taylor to fire in his tenth goal of the season - his fourth goal in five games.

Ebbsfleet threatened and Russell had to react quickly to deny Willock after failing to hold a swerving shot.

Reece Styche marked his entrance in typical fashion as he went close with an audacious hit from 30 yards.

Fleet looked for parity with five minutes to go, but Willock cut a frustrated figure after bursting clear and slashing wide.

However, it was all over in the 91st minute when Styche started a move he finished. The England C striker nodded away a corner in his own box to Thomson, who ran from the left-back position to play in the buccaneering Stokes to allow the supporting Styche to slot home.

Forest Green: S. Russell; J. Hodgkiss, J. Turley, E. Oshodi (J. Thomson 57), C. Stokes; K. Forbes, J. Collins, Y. Klukowski; L. Henderson, M. Taylor (R. Styche 75), M. Uwezu (L. Graham 68); Subs not used: J. Rowe, T. Wright.

Ebbsfleet United: L. Cronin; C. Stone, P. Lorraine, R. Smith, J. Howe; M. West, N. Barrett (L. Bellamy 79), R. Marwa (T. Phipp 79), R. Shakes (N. Pinney 71); L. Enver-Marum, C. Willock; Subs not used: J. Herd, T. McNeil.

Referee: W. Barratt (Worcester) Attendance: 1,058.

Star man: Kieron Forbes-back to his best.

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