Five Things we learned from Forest Green’s victory over Macclesfield Town

Keanu Marsh-Brown’s early goal was enough to ensure Forest Green stretched their lead at the top of the National League to nine points.

Marsh-Brown connected on to Christian Doidge’s pass to score in a resolute performance against play-off chasing Macclesfield.

This result means it is now eleven league games undefeated for Mark Cooper’s men – a run that stretches back over two months.

Park Life Sport’s Forest Green Rovers writer Elliot Owens reflects on five things we learned from Forest Green’s 1-0 victory over Macclesfield.

Rob Sinclair adds to Mark Cooper selection dilemma…

It has been a very good week for midfielder Rob Sinclair on his return from a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a groin injury.
Sinclair came on in last weekend’s 2-1 win against Aldershot and grabbed the assist for the last-gasp goal, this time around the 27-year-old received the Man-of-the-Match award in his first full 90 minutes since August.
The bearded midfield man was delighted to be back in the starting eleven and said in mid-week that he wanted to give manager Mark Cooper a selection problem. No doubt he has certainly done that.
He was excellent filling the role, usually occupied by the consistently impressive Drissa Traore, in front of the defence.

Forest Green win in front of illustrious guest…

It was quickly learned that former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was in the Moss Road crowd. It is still unknown why the Scot was present, other than the geographical fact that Macclesfield is within an hour drive of Manchester. What is for certain is the Green Army impressed in front of the 38-time trophy winner at United.
Ruthless in front of goal in the early stages and resolute defensively in the second half enabled Rovers to pick up another three points as they push for the National League title.

Ethan Pinnock deservedly receives yet more plaudits…

Summer arrival Ethan Pinnock has thrived since moving from Isthmian Premier League outfit, Dulwich Hamlet.
Young prospect Pinnock was in the media spotlight at full time on Saturday with Mark Cooper saying to BBC Radio Gloucestershire “Pinnock gets better, better and better. It wouldn’t surprise me if Alex Ferguson was telling the Man United people about him after his performance.” One flattering compliment…
Pinnock and centre-half partner Charlie Clough were instrumental at the heart FGR’s defence as they held for a clean sheet against a tricky Macclesfield side.

Fantastic form steads well for tough Christmas fixture run in…

Eleven games unbeaten, with six victories from the last seven and eight clean sheets from the last ten – the stats are impressive and as Cooper’s men head into a tough Christmas period, he along with most connected to the Nailsworth side can take comfort in the club’s form . Lincoln and Tranmere, who are 2nd and 4th respectively, are next to visit the New Lawn – with trips to Wrexham and Eastleigh and a home fixture against Dover completing the tough run.

I think these five fixtures will tell a lot about the club’s title credentials, if Rovers can muster a double-digit points tally, taking them to a magnificent 56 plus points, then that would not only give FGR a commanding lead at the top, but it would also send a message out to their promotion rivals that they are there to stay.

Nine points ahead is substantial, but FGR can’t get complacent…

Cooper’s side have established a very impressive nine-point lead over nearest rivals Lincoln City, but nobody should be getting carried away.
It was only last season Rovers were neck and neck with local rivals Cheltenham Town, until they hit a run seven games without a win at the end of the season – gifting Gary Johnson’s Robins the title and resulting in Ady Pennock’s sacking. The season before, Barnet had the same points difference as Forest Green have on their nearest rivals on Boxing Day.
However, The Bees were pegged back to just a single point and had to fight until the very final day from a spirited Bristol Rovers.
Yes, if Forest Green manage to win their next two league games against 2nd-placed Lincoln and 4th-placed Tranmere – many pundits would feel The Green would have the National League title in the bag – but the campaign is far from over.

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