FOOTBALL

FOOTBALL: Forest Green boss Mark Cooper in search of a new striker after Morecambe defeat

Forest Green manager Mark Cooper was left frustrated after his side failed to convert a number of chances in the 1-0 defeat to Morecambe.

Despite registering 19 shots on goal, the Green Devils fired a blank and suffered their first home defeat of the season.

An 85th minute winner from Aaron Wildig was enough to secure all three points for the visitors as they moved six points clear of the relegation zone.

Cooper’s men have dropped to 10th in League Two following the defeat and now sit three points outside of the Playoff places.

 

The home side came into the game looking to reignite their promotion charge after a three match winless run.

After consolidating their place in the fourth tier last season, Rovers made a number of key additions during the summer transfer window and have been knocking on the door of the top seven.

It was a slow start to the season for the Shrimpers, but after a recent flurry of impressive results Jim Bentley has masterminded a resurgence at the Globe Arena.

Cooper was able to welcome back Joseph Mills to the starting eleven, but was without injured duo Liam Shepherd and Lee Collins.

Morecambe travelled to Nailsworth without the services of Andy Fleming, Lamin Jagne and James Sinclair who missed the trip through injury. Rhys Oates has been the leading marksman for the Shrimps this season but was also unavailable for the game, so Vadaine Oliver filled the boots of the former Hartlepool striker.

The home side had a chance to take the lead after just 30 seconds, however Carl Winchester blazed over. Winchester’s miss would set the tone for the rest of the game, with Rovers missing a number of key chances.

Former Wales international George Williams was next to go close for FGR, however his shot was cleared off the line by Morecambe’s centre back Steve Old.

Despite their dominance, Rovers had James Montgomery to thank for going in level at the break. Liam Mandeville had a great chance to put the visitors ahead on the stroke of half time but his effort produced a point blank save out of the goalkeeper.

Captain for the day Reuben Reid and Reece Brown went close for Forest Green in the second half, but last ditch defending and a superb save from Mark Halstead kept the scores level.

Five minutes from time the away side landed the ultimate sucker punch through skipper Wildig.

Andrew Tutte’s scuffed effort from the edge of the area found it’s way to Wildig, who managed to turn and fire his shot beyond Montgomery from seven yards out.

Rovers threw all they had at Morecambe in the remaining minutes, but could find no way through a resilient Shrimpers side.

Speaking after the game, Mark Cooper said: “We didn’t score despite making all the possession.

“You’ve got to have people that are desperate to get on the end of a cross, but it’s not all about looking good, getting the ball and pulling off a turn, get in the box.

“Christian Doidge would’ve scored five today.

“There’s no hiding the fact we need another forward.”

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