Doidge 56

Mills 88


CHRISTIAN DOIDGE'S 13th goal of the season and a late Joseph Mills free-kick  underpinned Forest Green's play-off dreams against a Macclesfield side fighting for their League Two lives.

Doidge pounced on 56 minutes - volleying in a pin-point Joseph Mills free-kick to put Rovers in pole position and Mills wrapped things up with a sublime late free-kick to leave Rovers in rude health with four games of the regular season to go.

Earlier, Forest Green boss Mark Cooper made two changes from the side that beat Crawley Town 2-1 last time out.

Captain Gavin Gunning dropped to the bench, Paul Digby (ankle) and James Montgomery (back) missed out, and Dayle Grubb failed to make the matchday squad.

Before a ball was kicked in anger, Rovers had only picked up five points from a possible 18 in their last six home games, but their imperious away form left Cooper’s side wedged comfortably in the play-offs shake-up - sitting in sixth-place.

Macclesfield, under former England, Arsenal and Spurs legend Sol Campbell, boasted a five-game unbeaten run, which saw the Silkmen leap out of the relegation zone for the first time since August, after their midweek smash and grab at Exeter City.

From the get-go,Rovers bossed possession, painting pretty patterns.

It was nip-and-tuck, Elliott Durrell chancing his arm for Macclesfield with two long range skidders and 6ft 5 ins beanpole striker Harry Smith planting a header over the bar.

In response, Forest Green livewire Junior Mondal watched one spanking strike fly wide of the post and then, after a spell of keep ball, his effort deviated in the air and cleared the Macclesfield bar, with six minutes of a tepid first-half to go.

Macclesfield started the second-half with intent – Reece Cole and Michael Rose going close to breaking the stalemate.

Rovers responded in equal measure – Doidge watching his howitzer flying over the bar from the edge of the box.

Doidge found his range on 56 minutes – Joseph Mills’ measured free-kick saw Rovers’ leading marksman swivel and volley home into the bottom corner for his 13th goal of the season, including one for Bolton.

Mills added the gloss with two minutes to go - bending in a sumptuous free-kick from 35 yards.

Ratings out of 10

Forest Green (4-2-3-1) Ward (5), Shephard (7), Rawson (7), McGinley (6), Mills (8); Winchester (6), Collins (6) (James, 90); Mondal 7 (McCoulsky 81), Brown 6, Williams 5 (Gunning 66, (6); Doidge (6)

Subs not used: Thomas, Godwin-Malife, Reid, Pearce

Macclesfield: O'Hara, Fitzpatrick ,Kelleher, Durrell, Smith, Welch-Hayes, Stephens, Rose (Whitacker 59), Cameron, Cole (Wilson 76), Jules

Subs not used: Idem, Grimes, Marsh, Evans, artis

Attendance: 2,336

Away fans: 170

Star Man: Joseph Mills

Next up: Rovers travel to  play-off rivals Tranmere on Good Friday, 3pm.