Rob Edwards’ and Forest Green’s breathtaking start to the season has yet to come off the rails as the League Two pacesetters maintained their fast start to the embryonic campaign, posting their fourth straight win.
Rovers hit Crawley Town for six as Nicky Cadden’s hat-trick saw Rovers win a nine-goal thriller in an epic 6-3 encounter.
Cadden’s deflected goal after 50 seconds got Rovers off to a flyer before Jake Hessenthaler netted parity on 15 minutes, converting from a deft Tyler Frost flick.
Rovers regained the lead on 24 minutes – the prolific Matty Stevens lifting the ball over Glenn Morris for his fifth goal in four games after Jamille Matt fashioned the chance. The goal tide continued – Hessenthaler fizzing the ball through Luke McGee on 30 minutes. On the cusp of the break, Baily Cargill hit the bar for Rovers, ending a breathless first-half all-square.
PICTURE GALLERY: Shane Healey/ Pro Sports Images
However, Forest Green ran away with the game in the second half as they scored four more times before Kwesi Appiah responded for the visitors.
Matt nosed Rovers ahead on 48 minutes after Kane Wilson’s trickery and Cadden made it 4-2 on 67 minutes as he fizzed in from a Regan Hendry cross before helping himself to his hat-trick a minute later thanks to a Matt assist.
Rovers’ substitute Jake Young grabbed the sixth with 12 minutes left on the clock with a sweet strike just inside the box after starting the move in his own box before embarking on a buccaneering run from a Jack Aitchison pass.
Crawley’s Appiah bagged scant consolation with four minutes to go.
Edwards was delighted with his side as they made it four league wins from the opening four games – a record-breaking start for the Gloucestershire side.
A delighted Edwards said: “We’ve entertained – very good start and I was pleased with it. We scored too soon and sat back and they got a bit of momentum
“We were electric, to score six goals and post four straight wins and the lads certainly did well to score four goals in the second half was pleasing.
“The strikers are scoring goals and our left wing back today got a hat-trick (Nicky Cadden).
“We look a threat going forward and try to play to the players’ strength and I’m really pleased with the whole squad and even the lads who didn’t play.”
A disgruntled Crawley boss John Yems insisted his side deserved to get beaten: “We got beat up by a very, very good side. We deserved it. It was men against boys. It is hard for the fans who traveled here but we have to learn from it.
“We have to show a little bit more desire and effort. We gave them the game. We have been beaten by a top-of-the-league side.
“We have been beaten for a reason. It shows you what experienced players can bring to your squad.
“We could still be out there now and still not win the game.
“It was like a boxing match. We were trying to knock each other out. We have to be cuter.”