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Automatic-promotion hopes hanging by a thread as misfiring Rovers held at Crawley

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Forest Green’s automatic-promotion hopes are all but over as profligate finishing saw them forced to settle for a 0-0 draw at Crawley Town.

Interim boss Jimmy Ball made it three games unbeaten seen replacing Mark Cooper, but the son of former World Cup winner Alan will be counting the cost of a raft of missed chances.

Rovers will need to win their last three games to have an outside chance of going up and now look forced to settle for the play-offs.

Sitting in sixth, Rovers remain in the play-off pack with a two-point buffer over eighth-placed Salford City.

Misfiring Rovers saw Aaron Collins miss a guilt-edged open goal when evading Crawley keeper Glenn Morris and hitting the outside of the post on 30 minutes after a period of intense pressure that produced nine corners in the opening 20 minutes.

Crawley, who had outside play-off hopes, offered little but threatened when Sam Matthews clipped the top of Luke McGee’s bar.

Rovers’ fragility in front of goal was highlighted after the break when Jayden Richardson burst through, but could only fire into Morris and then hit the parry back into the Crawley keeper.

Richardson was culpable and fluffed his lines when losing his footing as he shaped to shoot. 

Rovers knocked on the Crawley door, but this time Collins saw his shot blocked with 17 minutes to go. Crawley started to turn the screw in the dying embers – Jack Powell scuffing his shot.

Rovers’ sub Kane Wilson watched his shot deflected wide following a Collins cross across the box.

At the death, McGee took a Tarryn Allarakhia header under his bar as Rovers made it back-to-back scoreless draws.

Rovers welcome Barrow on Tuesday night.

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