TIME will tell if Forest Green Rovers’ three-point Vanarama Conference deduction for fielding an ineligible player this season will come to bite them, but manager Ady Pennock's side are now looking over their collective play-off shoulders.

Rovers lost an initial appeal against the deduction in December after they fielded Luke Oliver in their opening day Vanarama Conference victory at Southport when he was ineligible.

The New Lawn top brass had hoped to have the fixture replayed, but that was declined by the FA appeal board. Now independent arbitrators have ratified the FA appeal board decision.

Pennock's team are rooted in the final play-off place on 66 points,but have played a game more than rivals Eastleigh with 64 points and Woking on 62, who sit six and seventh respectively.

“This was a long-shot, but fairplay to Dale (Vince) and the directors as they had a right old go with the appeal,” said Pennock.

“We move on and put it to bed now, but human nature makes you look at the table and think what if we had the three points, but I hope it doesn’t comeback to bite us at the end of the season and we miss out by a goal or a point.” His side fell to their first defeat in 13 games at bogey side Woking on Saturday with former Forest Green player Scott Rendell scoring a contentious penalty in the second half.

“I didn’t think there was anything in it, but the referee’s given it so you have to move on.

“We’ve had a very good run, that was the 13th game (since the last defeat), I’m not normally superstitious but I am today.”

It now remains a six-game bun fight for the final Vanarama Conference play-off spot for a Rovers side set to travel to Lincoln City on Saturday.

Key midfielder Rob Sinclair (calf) missed the defeat at Woking along with James Norwood (groin) and Pennock admits he is in the dark on a time scale for Sinclair to return to action.

“Rob has been fantastic this season, but felt a pop in his calf and we don’t know how long he will be, but the bonus is we had Sam Wedgbury back against Woking - full credit goes to the work Maxi (Paul Maxwell) has done with him.”

Pennock is confident his side can return to form at Lincoln.

He added: “The players have put themselves in this position, so they have to keep pushing on for the last six games.”