Striker comes up with goods late on

Stevenage Boro 3 Forest Green Rovers 3 MARCUS CRAWLEY reports from Broadhall Way The stats from Monday s game tell you everything you need to know. Rovers arrived having failed to score in their four Conference matches so far this season, meaning the chop

Stevenage Boro 3

Forest Green Rovers 3

MARCUS CRAWLEY reports from Broadhall Way

The stats from Monday's game tell you everything you need to know.

Rovers arrived having failed to score in their four Conference matches so far this season, meaning the chop for boss Gary Owers before their visit to Broadhall Way.

Yet the visitors scored three times in a half-hour period either side of the break and could easily have added to their tally.

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Even more worrying was that Alan Julian had 18 attempts on his goal during the game, 10 directly on target, and Forest Green earned more than a dozen corners.

The promised 'entertainment' was generally down to two porous defences allied to some genuine quality attacking play.

This was certainly the case as Boro raced into a two-goal lead inside 11 minutes.

Steve Morison scored again after just six minutes when he eased past defender Alex Lawless and slotted past keeper Steve Williams. George Boyd had created the chance by heading on David Hicks' ball.

The trio combined minutes later with Hicks' drive tipped over.

And the crowd were purring on 11 minutes following a brilliant effort. Steve Guppy nutmegged the hapless Lawless and squared for Boyd to rifle home a thunderous volley.

With some predicting a cricket score, Boro showed they were on a sticky wicket defensively.

Club captain Jason Goodliffe was left flat on his backside by Allan Russell who then gave Julian no chance to halve the deficit on 23 minutes.

Julian was at his best to keep out efforts from Russell (twice) and Alex Meechan as Rovers pressed for an equaliser.

The threatened second duly arrived on 38 minutes when Russell's low cross was turned in by Simon Clist ahead of Barry Fuller.

This end-to-end nature continued after the restart with Craig Dobson twice shooting wide.

Forest Green stunned Boro by taking the lead in the 55th minute as skipper Tony Butler was granted the freedom of Broadhall Way to head home Meechan's cross.

Goodliffe had an immediate chance of salvation but skied the ball into Broadhall Way instead when Morison headed on Fuller's long ball.

Boro pressed and were unlucky as Williams denied Goodliffe and then Morison's header spectacularly from a sublime Guppy cross.

Darryn Stamp was thrown on in the final quarter of an hour but it was Morison who seemed to offer the best hope of redemption.

He came perilously close to equalising two minutes from time when Guppy supplied the ammunition. Williams again produced a save out of the top drawer.

With Boro fans resigning themselves to their third successive home defeat and just one point from five games, new boy Morison came to the rescue.

Rovers were trying to replace Boro old boy Michael Brough with Jamie Pitman to waste precious seconds in the fourth minute of added time.

Instead Julian's long free-kick was flicked on and Morison finally beat Williams again with a cool finish.

It was late, it was dramatic, but the majority of Boro fans would surely rather settle for a 'comfortable' win by a single goal.

MATCH FACTS

BORO v Forest Green Rovers

15......................Goal attempts......................18

10......................Shots on target......................10

5......................Shots off target......................8

1......................Hit woodwork......................0

4......................Offsides......................1

14......................Free-kicks......................13

7......................Corners......................13

TEAM: Julian 7, Fuller 6, Nutter 6, Goodliffe 6, Gaia 6, Miller 7, Boyd 7, Hicks 6, Morison 8*, Guppy 7, Dobson 5 (Stamp 75m).

SubS not used: Oliver, Thorpe, Henry, Potter.

BOOKED: Gaia 60m, Goodliffe 90m.

ATT: 1,905.

REF: S Attwell.

Subs must play at least 20 minutes to earn a player rating.