Three first half goals earn Rovers win

A powerful first half showing helped Forest Green coast to three points with victory over Alfreton at The New Lawn, writes Richard Joyce.

James Norwood’s brace and Danny Wright’s smash handed David Hockaday’s side a comfortable 3-0 lead at the break, and despite Daniel Bradley’s late strike earning the visitors a consolation goal, Rovers never really looked like throwing away three points.

Two consecutive wins have now steered Rovers to just outside the Skrill Premier play-off places as an unchanged eleven to the one that started Monday’s win at Chester more than successfully did the job with Matty Taylor on the bench after his recent call up to the England C squad.

Rovers were on it from the start and their early brightness produced righteous rewards. After just seven minutes Anthony Barry’s tremendous far post cross was met superbly by Norwood who cannoned a header past Ross Atkins to open the scoring.

A confident FGR unit were playing some wonderful football and Wright smashed over shortly after following a terrific period of build up play involving Jared Hodgkiss and Barry.

Sam Russell was still called upon to make a punching save in the 11th minute from Daniels Meadows header after Connor Franklin had hoisted a teasing cross into the box.

There was more excellent football to come from Rovers and another fine move led to a game killing second goal midway through the first half.

Wright’s exquisitely positioned final ball was met by Norwood who thumped an unstoppable finish at goal to earn the 22 year old his brace.

Atkins was finding himself very busy in the Alfreton goal and he did well to deny Norwood from netting a treble ten minutes before the interval but the on loan Derby County shot-stopper couldn’t stop Rovers from finding a third goal.

Chris Stokes delivery from the left hand side was met perfectly by Wright who powered home Forest Green’s third.

The opening exchanges of the second half far from matched up to the drama on show in the opening forty five minutes however it was Atkins who was on hand to deny Wright’s battling forward run and final effort from ending up in the back of the net.

Yan Klukowski lifted a free kick well over while Alfreton’s Bradley Wood could similarly not keep his shot down as with ten minutes to go Russell’s highly sought after hopes of a clean sheet were eradicated.

Stokes’ handball on the edge of the area allowed the Derbyshire side to pull off a quick thinking free kick move which left Rovers off guard and the ball in the back of the net as Bradley’s effort sneaked in.

Magno Vieira, on as a late substitute, saw his close range strike smartly stopped by Atkins as the game entered stoppage time while Klukowski should have done better when with time on the ball in the box but Rovers three first half goals were enough as they strolled to three points.

Report: Richard Joyce