Forest Green Rovers let a first half lead slip as they drew 1-1 with Port Vale on Saturday, writes Sam Wiles.

Mark Cooper made two changes from Rovers’ last outing which included new man Baily Cargill getting the nod to start following his arrival from MK Dons earlier in the month.

Forest Green had the first effort on target following a cagey opening 15 minutes.

After a Rovers free kick was headed away by a rigid Port Vale defence, Scott Wagstaff responded with a superb volleyed effort but his shot was parried away by well the keeper.

Following a prolonged period of Forest Green pressure, the home side took the lead on 19 minutes.

After winning a free kick on the left-hand side of the Port Vale box, Nicky Cadden dubiously converted the chance.

The winger’s looping effort seemed to take a nick on the way through which sent the ball bouncing away from Scott Brown’s reach in goal.

The home side started the second half positively as they looked to penetrate the regimented Port Vale defence again.

On 49 minutes, Jamille Matt fed in Aaron Collins well as the striker crept in off the shoulder of a visiting defender but his resulting cross fizzed across the face of goal to no avail.

Luke McGee was called into action on 62 minutes and made an excellent stop with his feet to deny Devante Rodney levelling the scores from close range.

Just four minutes after he replaced Jordan Moore-Taylor, Jayden Richardson nearly got himself of the score sheet on 72 minutes.

A great twist and run move from the youngster enabled him to fire his effort from a tight angle but his shot was matched by Brown’s terrific save.

After 77 minutes, Rodney levelled the contest with a long-range strike.

The Port Vale forward took aim from outside the 18-yard box and watched his ball fire off the inside of the post and past McGee.

Odin Bailey looked to restore Forest Green’s lead on 85 minutes but the substitute’s powerful strike from the edge of the box sailed inches wide of the target.

Forest Green next face a trip to Tranmere on Tuesday night.