5 things we learned from Forest Green 1-1 Dagenham & Redbridge, by Elliot Owens.

The sides’ top goalscorers Rhys Murphy and Ollie Hawkins netted their seventh and 11th goals respectively in the second half of a tense affair at The New Lawn.

Parklife Sport Forest Green Rovers writer, Elliot Owens, reflects on five things we learned from Saturday’s game. 

Top marksman Rhys Murphy ends goal drought…

Murphy ended a seven-game league goal drought in spectacular fashion with a low drive that took a helpful knick off Daggers captain Scott Doe on its way in.

The forward, who netted for the seventh time this campaign, leads the way at the top of the FGR scoring charts, and looks an increasingly key man in their push for promotion.

Sam Russell’s clean sheet record abruptly comes to an end…

Green shotstopper Sam Russell was 90 minutes away from setting a new National League record of consecutive clean sheets.

Russell last conceded through a Mikael Mandron goal against Eastleigh – the same time as Murphy’s last goal – seven fixtures ago.

The record is held by Bromley’s Alan Julian, who set the eight-game feat back in 2007/08 season with Stevenage, much to the disappointment of FGR’s number 1.

Nine unbeaten at The New Lawn… 

Although most connected with The Little Club on the Hill will be disappointed with the result, as they slipped up from a winning position, a major positive is that Mark Cooper’s team are still unbeaten at home this season.

Home form was impressive last season as the club narrowly missed out on promotion – so this time around, making sure The New Lawn acts as a fortress could be the the key to reaching the Football League.

Manager Mark Cooper is in spot of bother with officials for a second straight week…

Lots of speculation has surrounded the Nailsworth club with rumours of manager vacancies, top scorers joining the club and now Mark Cooper being in trouble with the FA for comments towards match officials for the second consecutive week.

Last week, the former Swindon manager was in trouble for comments he made about the referees performance in a post-match interview. 

This week, he was sent off during the half-time break after an altercation with the linesman on the nearside. This followed a penalty appeal that was waved away – Cooper watched the second half from the changing rooms. He is facing a potential hefty fine.

Cooper to MK Dons? It Seems unlikely…

In a tense interview post-match, Cooper made no clear comment on the vacant MK Dons job, for which he is among the favourites. 

“Nothing,” was the hasty reply from the 47-year-old. Make of it as you will, but it is unlikely he would take the job as FGR sit top of the National League and are in firm control for promotion to the Football League.

Cooper also thought his side deserved more from the game. “We are a bit upset that we haven’t got three points.

“Sometimes you have to take a point – keep the unbeaten run going and move on.

“I thought we deserved to win – but sometimes you don’t get what you deserve.

“We needed to produce more in the final third, for certain.”

You can watch the full interview with Mark Cooper here…

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