Five Things We Learned: Forest Green 1 – 2 Mansfield

Forest Green suffered a third defeat in as many games after they lost 2-1 to Mansfield on Saturday afternoon.

The defeat saw Rovers fall to fifth in the League Two rankings as Nigel Clough’s side recorded their first victory of the season.

The game provided many talking points and will give manager Mark Cooper some things to think about.

Rovers sloppy start:

After George Lapslie put the Stags ahead on six minutes, Forest Green gave themselves work to do early on.

In the league, Rovers have conceded six goals inside the opening 20 minutes of matches and this is something boss Cooper is certainly aware of.

Speaking to BBC Radio Gloucestershire, he said: “We’ve conceded the most goals in the Football League in the first 20 minutes. That’s a stat. Something has to change.

“We’ve been through scenarios of looking at the clock. Come on, let’s get to five minutes, 10, 15, 20. It’s usually no coincidence that when we do score first, we win.”

Forest Green must capitalise on chances:

Rovers had more than a handul of chances to get something from the match.

Matty Stevens, amongst others, had multiple clear cut opportunities to alter the scoreline in the second half.

With an eye watering 22 attempts on target in the game, Cooper’s men should definitely have converted more than one.

Quick free kicks don’t always work:

Rovers midfielder Ebou Adams proved that quick thinking isn’t always the order of the day.

The 24-year-old’s set piece was needlessly taken quick inside his own half and he ended up passing the ball to Jordan Bowery who played in Harry Charsley to fire home for the travelling side.

Fans were clearly disgruntled by the mistake.

These sloppy mistakes are costing Rovers points and arguably, without that mistake from Adams, they could’ve taken something from the match.

Set pieces are working:

After Odin Bailey scrambled home from a corner routine to bag a late consolation, it brought Rovers’ tally for set piece goals this season to six.

With target man Jamille Matt standing over six feet in stature, it is clear that Cooper is trying to utilise the threat they pose from set-pieces.

The Rovers backroom staff will be pleased with the increase in set-piece goals. In recent months, they have been working hard on making the Nailsworth side more effective from dead ball situations.

Nigel Clough’s appointment looks promising for the Stags:

Prior to Clough’s appointment, Mansfield were without a win in the league and sat in 22nd place.

Fast forward to Saturday night and he had secured Mansfield’s first league win of the season against a strong Forest Green side.

Mansfield looked professional and disciplined during the match; proving that they will pose many more difficulties for sides throughout the rest of this league campaign.

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