MARK COOPER admitted he would have copped a thick ear from his dad if his side had lost today.

Forest Green went to the top of League Two for the first time in their history with a 3-1 victory over Crawley Town. A Joseph Mills brace and an Aaron Collins strike propelled Rovers to the summit Cooper was delighted to get the three points and took a sigh of relief with his father Terry Cooper, the former Leeds United and England legend making the trip from Spain to watch his son’s team from the stand.

“I was glad we won – I’d have got a thick ear otherwise if we didn’t, so it made him happy today, " said Cooper junior.

Rovers' head coach felt his side hit the straps from the get-go but he lamented Crawley's goal, which ended his side's five-game shutout.

“I enjoyed the game and we were very aggressive in our play, lots of chances, but disappointing thing for me was the goal - it was a disappointing goal to give away, which made the second-half less enjoyable, but we had to concede a goal sometime after five successive clean sheets.”

Cooper reserved high praise for referee Matthew Smith, he said: “I thought the referee was outstanding – the best I’ve seen – I think he must understand football.

“We’ve beaten a very good team that have had some amazing results this season. We showed maturity and were measured and pressed and played some really good football.”