Bennett 4, Montano 33


Joseph Mills 5

RABBIT in the headlights defending saw Forest Green beaten for the first time this season at Port Vale.

A helter-skelter opening saw Port Vale catch Forest Green cold on four minutes when Ritchie Bennett rose unmarked to plant a header beyond an exposed Jo Wollacott.

Sixty-seconds later and Rovers netted parity. Captain marvel Joseph Mills drove into the box and placed a sumptuous strike beyond former Cheltenham Town keeper Scott Brown.

Rovers were making a fist of it and Brown had to be on the money to repel a twist and turn from the edge of the box from Aaron Brown after Junior Mondal teed him up.

Statuesque Rovers’ defending saw Vale regain the lead on 33 minutes. Cristian Montano picked out the unmarked David Amoo at the back post who gleefully spanked beyond Wollacott.

Vale had their tails up. On the cusp of the break James Gibbon rattled the bar from the edge of the box.

Earlier, opting to rotate his squad Cooper brought back in James Morton, Junior Mondal and Aaron Collins, with Shawn McCoulsky sitting out.

Rovers’ lacklustre first-half showing saw Cooper hook Dom Bernard at the break for teenager Taylor Allen.

Matt Mills was incandescent when his expertly timed slider was adjudged a foul and in the ensuing debate he incurred a harsh booking on 49 minutes.

Rovers were playing keep ball and painting pretty pictures as they looked for a way back into the game. Allen was a whisker from connecting to a teasing Joseph Mills cross.

Cooper turned to his bench for the second time – ushering on Dayle Grubb for Mondal with 27 minutes to go.

Rovers were turning the screw as Vale were indebted to Brown who flew across his goal to finger Allen’s howitzer from the edge of the box.

But it was Vale who should have put the game to bed. The defence were cut open, but Amoo contrived to spank high, wide and not very handsome on 72 minutes.

Rovers were indebted to the reflexes of Woollacott who got a block from an Amoo stab.

Matt Stevens was the last card from the bench with the clock ticking, but Rovers failed to find parity.

In the dying embers, Port Vale's David Worral went one-on-one with Wollacott who stood firm to block

Forest Green: Woollacott, Godwin-Malife, M Mills, McGinley; Bernard (Allen 45), Morton, Winchester, Mondal (Grubb 63 ), J Mills, Adams; Collins (Stevens 81 )

Subs not used: Thomas, Dawson, Kitching, Rawson Attendance: 4,010

FGR fans: 104

Star Man: Joseph Mills

Next up: Rovers travel to Bradford City on Saturday, 3pm.