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Five-star Forest Green jump off the bottom of the table


Forest Green Rovers 5-0 Colchester United

Forest Green picked up their first league win in six weeks and moved off the bottom of League Two by thrashing 10-player Colchester United at The New Lawn.

A brace from Matty Stevens and goals for Callum Morton, Kyle McAllister and Matty Taylor secured the points whilst Colchester’s Jay Mingi was sent off for a second yellow card in the 48th minute.

Morton tapped home from close range on the stroke of half time in his first league start of the season before Kyle McAllister scored a sweet strike with 25 minutes to go.

Substitutes Taylor and Stevens then both scored within four minutes of coming on before Stevens bagged his second in added time.

The win takes Forest Green up to 23rd on 10 points, their first league victory since Sutton United on 2nd September. Sutton drop to the bottom of the table after a 4-1 defeat at Doncaster Rovers.

Colchester suffered their third successive defeat and drop to 22nd, now level on points with Forest Green.

James Belshaw had returned in goal after another seven-day loan was agreed with Bristol Rovers, forcing Jamie Searle back to the bench despite his shootout heroics in the EFL Trophy win against Walsall.

Head coach David Horseman confirmed that Ryan Inniss has been ruled out for up to 12 weeks with a stress fracture before the match and Darnell Johnson was also unavailable, but his injury is not suspected to be serious.

Morton and Jacob Maddox were both making their first league starts of the season after playing 45 minutes in Tuesday’s game.

Colchester manager Ben Garner made two changes to the side that was beaten 3-1 by Morecambe last weekend, Samson Tavide and Owen Goodman replaced by Tom Hopper and Tom Smith.

In a mostly uneventful first half, Morton steered home in the 41st minute after Smith spilled Tyrese Omotoye’s shot.

Mingi got his first yellow card just 10 minutes into the contest and received his second just three minutes after the restart to put the visitors down to 10.

Rovers made the most of the extra player and McAllister finished impressively from just inside the penalty area with 25 minutes to go.

Taylor got his goal in the 77th minute after replacing Morton two minutes prior, slotting Reece Welch’s through ball home at Smith’s near post.

Stevens scored his first two minutes after that and got the fifth in injury time to cap off the strongest performance of David Horseman’s reign so far.

Forest Green Rovers starting XI: Belshaw, Lavinier, Bernard, McAllister (Robertson 75’), Deeney (Stevens 75’), Maddox (Jenks 67’), Welch, Omotoye, Dabo, Bunker, Morton (Taylor 75’).

Subs: Searle, Jenks, Stevens, M. Taylor, Bendle, Robson, Robertson.

Colchester United starting XI: Smith, Hall, Chilvers (Bandeira 75’), McGeehan, Hopper (Ihionvien 75’), Mitchell, Egbo, Mingi, J. Taylor (Tovide 46’), Kazeem (Dallison 46’), Fevrier.

Subs: Hornby, Greenidge, Dallison, Bandeira, Tovide, Cooper, Ihionvien.

Attendance: 2,137 (278)

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