Forest Green slipped out of the League Two play-off places on Tuesday evening as Barrow confirmed their league safety in a 2-0 win over Jimmy Ball’s team, writes Sam Wiles.

Two first half strikes from Scott Quigley and Bobby Thomas condemned a lacklustre Rovers to their first defeat since Ball took temporary charge of the Nailsworth side.

The loss now sees Forest Green sitting one place outside of the play-off places in eighth with two games remaining of the season.

Interim head coach Ball appeared defiant ahead of the run-in and stated that his side will be looking to claim back their play-off place.

He said: “We’ve had something taken us off and we’re not very happy about that so we’re going to go and grab it back.

“I always thought that six points out of these three games would get us there and that hasn’t changed. It hasn’t changed the mentality that we’re going to approach things in – we have to beat Tranmere and we have to beat Oldham.”

Despite the loss, Ball remained positive and level-headed as he reflected on his start to life in League Two.

“If you put it in perspective, over four games we’ve had one below par half of football but unfortunately in this game, when you do that it’s cruel and you get punished,” he declared.

Since taking over, Ball has seen his team register 63 shots – however, just three of those have found the back of the net.

Rovers’ temporary head coach admitted that this is a problem that his side needs to address and especially now time is running out in the season.

“We just looked short of ideas and a bit of guile and a bit of life in our legs in the first half and then second half you saw us get in and get chances, looked bright and that was more like us,” he said. “We knocked on the door, we just couldn’t open it and that’s sort of been the story for the last three games to be honest – Exeter, Crawley and then tonight we’ve, again, created enough chances to win a game but haven’t and that’s something we have to address and something we have to get right.”

Forest Green next welcome Tranmere to the innocent New Lawn on Saturday in what could arguably be one of Rovers’ most important matches of the season. (Kick off 3pm)