Boro draw against Forest Green Rovers

Forest Green Rovers 4 Stevenage Boro 4 A QUITE ridiculous bank holiday encounter saw Forest Green throw away a 3-0 lead but end up the happier of the two sides. Boro looked blown away after conceding three goals in five minutes during the first half but,

Forest Green Rovers 4 Stevenage Boro 4

A QUITE ridiculous bank holiday encounter saw Forest Green throw away a 3-0 lead but end up the happier of the two sides.

Boro looked blown away after conceding three goals in five minutes during the first half but, aided by Darren Jones' stupid 50th minute red card, stormed back to lead 4-3 going into injury time.

Cue Rovers substitute Lee Dodgson, who volleyed home in stunning fashion in the 92nd minute to snatch a remarkable point.

Adam Miller returned for Boro with Paul Hakim getting a starting berth up front.

Home boss Jim Harvey was boosted by the return of his captain and Boro old boy Michael Brough.

Most Read

A bright start by the home side saw Mark Preece hook Simon Clist's partially cleared corner into the box in the fifth minute, a weak clearance falling for Jones to drill a shot wide from 20 yards.

Stevenage responded three minutes later when Mitchell Cole crashed an angled shot against the outside of Ryan Harrison's near post.

The opening goal owed much to a superb run from deep by Beesley who drew several opponents before feeding Paul Stonehouse on the right.

Stonehouse's measured pass found Danny Carey-Bertram whose shot was blocked but fell perfectly for Clist to net his seventh goal of the season.

John Hardiker's long ball three minutes later caused more confusion in the visitors' defence and Carey-Bertram was afforded the time to dink the ball across the penalty area for Stonehouse to drill home.

Rovers could smell blood, and an extraordinary passage of play was rounded off on 21 minutes when Chris Giles' low cross ricocheted around inside the six-yard box and Beesley reacted quickest to make it 3-0.

Mark Stimson's men were a shambles, and they almost fell further behind on 26 minutes when Giles beat shellshocked goalkeeper Alan Julian to Hardiker's long throw and flicked the ball on for a prostrate Carey-Bertram to divert wide.

The home fans were in dreamland but Barry Fuller's sliced effort over the bar three minutes later hinted at a comeback.

It was 3-1 shortly after the half-hour mark as Hakim cut in from the left and laid the ball off for Craig Dobson to finish tidily via inside of the post.

Having seen Boro finish the first half the stronger side, Rovers failed to keep their composure at the start of the second period.

Jones was booked for petulantly throwing the ball into Hakim's face and a minute later, received his marching orders for a late challenge on Miller.

Hakim should have scored in the 53rd minute, firing wide from six yards under pressure from Preece, but a thunderbolt from Cole five minutes later beat Harrison for pace and made it 3-2.

The lively Hakim wasted another chance when he beat the offside trap, dinked the ball past Harrison but saw it trickle wide of the far post.

An extraordinary afternoon took another twist 14 minutes from time when Cole picked Alex Lawless' pocket at the edge of the area and was clattered by Harrison who was rightly booked.

John Nutter was forced to wait for the rookie stopper to undergo treatment but confidently slotted home from the penalty spot.

Boro looked to have won it in the 81st minute as Steve Morison raced on to Nutter's lofted pass over a square defence and finished emphatically past the beleaguered Harrison for his 33rd goal of the campaign.

Morison and substitute Jon Nurse each fired over from range as the game entered its final throes.

But the sting in the tail arrived when Dodgson swivelled on to Kevin Nicholson's long pass and sent a spectacular dipping volley past Julian from the edge of the penalty area.