DESPITE a pre-match convivial handshake, Forest Green boss Mark Cooper blasted rival Danny Cowley after league leaders Lincoln City rubber-stamped their League Two title credentials.

Cooper reacted to Cowley’s pre-match money-bags jibe after John Akinde’s brace made it six wins on the spin against their bitter rivals.

Cooper said: “I saw a comment from their manager (Danny Cowley) that we have been amazingly financially backed, so that must be the 10 grand we spent in the summer for Liam Shephard. If you go to Morrisons and I ‘ve got £10 and you’ve got £50, who is going to get the best steak, but fair play to Lincoln they’re good at what they do.”

Rovers started brightly, Reece Brown’s deflected strike giving Cooper’s side the lead on eight minutes, before Akinde netted first-half parity, Cooper added: “We gave a good account of ourselves and were out of the traps and got out in front, but when you play against Lincoln you know a lot of balls are going to come into your box and to leave John Akinde free in the six-yard box is going to give any team a problem and that’s what one of our defenders did, he’s marking him and he leaves him free in the six-yard box and two minutes later we leave Matt Rhead free and we’ve conceded the goal and make it difficult for ourselves.”

Rovers started the second-half on the front-foot, but a key moment of profligacy in front of goal proved costly.

He added: “George Williams had a golden chance to put us in front, he had to score, but he hit the keeper when he should have rolled it in the corner, but those are the key moments in big games.

“I’m pleased enough with the performance, but Lincoln managed the game well.”

Watch Mark Cooper's full post-match interview now.