Christian Doidge’s 20th goal of the season helped Forest Green to a 2-1 win away at Sutton, lifting Mark Cooper’s side into second place with ten games left of the National League season.
On-loan Carlisle United defender Mark Ellis was on the end of a Liam Noble corner to give the visitors the lead after the half hour mark and moments later Forest Green doubled their lead through marksman Doidge, who pounced on a Will Puddy mistake to roll the ball into an empty net.
Ellis went from hero to villain when he was sent off with minutes of normal time remaining following a challenge on Maxime Biamou and Sutton got a goal back when Adam Coombes’ resulting freekick found Kieron Cadogan.
But, it was to little too late and Rovers held on for the win – meaning they are three points behind league leaders Lincoln City.
On the half hour mark, Dale Bennett found in-form striker Doidge, who slammed his header against the crossbar.
The Yellows failed to clear the danger and the former Dagenham man had a second opportunity to strike at goal, though this time Puddy blocked well before Dan Wishart’s follow up was kept out and somehow the hosts escaped.
Five minutes into the second half Craig Eastmond capitalised on a Rovers error in midfield, but his shot was fired wide of the post.
Frontman Biamou then attempted an audacious overhead kick to claw something back for the hosts, however his effort failed to trouble Sam Russell between the sticks.
Forest Green’s on-loan Wigan forward Kaiyne Woolery nearly put the game to bed, when his goal-bound ball skidded across the artificial surface and caused Paul Doswell’s side a host of problems, but they survived.
Former Crystal Palace winger Kieron Cadogen struck wide late on for Sutton as Rovers came away with a much-needed three points.