Forest Green began life without record-scorer Christian Doidge with a 3-1 win away at Notts County extending their unbeaten start to the season. The win sent Rovers into the League Two play-off places.
Without Doidge, who completed a deadline-day “loan” move to Bolton – which will become permanent in January, started with a strike force of Reuben Reid and Carl Winchester – with deadline day loan signing Ben Morris not yet ready.
Forest Green started the brighter of the two sides Farrend Rawson, Reece Brown and Winchester all having chances to break the deadlock.
But it was Liam Shephard who opened the scoring for FGR on 29 minutes, after excellent build-up play by Mark Cooper’s side.
Before half-time County had a chance to equalise but a header just glanced over Robert Sanchez’s goal.
On 52 minutes, County were dealt a blow as Dan Jones was sent-off for a lunge on Lloyd James. Minutes later FGR’s lead was almost doubled, but Reece Brown was ruled to be offside.
The second goal eventually came through Reid, who fired into the net from the edge of the penalty area.
After an hour had gone, County caretake manager Mark Crossley brought on Jon Stead and the former Leeds midfielder was rewarded almost straight away, Stead scoring from close range with twenty minutes to go.
With County pushing for an equaliser, the hosts were susceptible to a counter-attack and they were caught as Reid drove through the middle before playing in Dayle Grubb who slotted the ball past Rob Fitzsimons in the Notts County goal.
Cooper and Rovers may feel aggrieved that George Williams wasn’t awarded late on, but the score remained 3-1.
The result leaves County and new County Harry Kewell rock bottom of the Football League, without a win this season.
For Forest Green, life without Doidge continues on Tuesday when local rivals Cheltenham Town visit the New Lawn for the first of three “El Glosico’s” this season – this one in the Checkatrade Trophy.