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Football-wise we were really good, insists Cooper after 4-1 Bradford City defeat

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STEADFAST in defeat, Forest Green boss Mark Cooper insists his side controlled the game.

Rovers tasted back-to-back defeats for the first time this season, but remain fifth, two points outside the automatics with eight games to go.

The Bantams went in front in the 11th minute through Elliot Watt.

Andy Cook made it 2-0 in the 47th minute when he intercepted a misplaced header from Baily Cargill and held off Cargill’s challenge to score with a low shot.

Cook scored Bradford’s third goal in the 76th minute, taking a pass from substitute Billy Clarke before cutting in from the right to score with a shot into the far corner.

Forest Green pulled a goal back in the 90th minute when Jake Young scored from just outside the box, before substitute Danny Rowe added Bradford’s fourth in the fourth minute of stoppage-time.

He also hit the bar from just over the halfway line with a sensational first-half effort.

Cooper said: “Football-wise we were really good, dominated the ball and we were in the control of the game.

“The overriding factor is that we’ve not scored from our chances again.

“We have to dust ourselves down and be ready for Monday.”

Cooper was disappointed in the officiating of the game.

He said: “At 0-0 we had a clear penalty and at 1-1 we had a clear penalty, then at the end, we have a karate kick that takes Kane Wilson’s head off – clear penalty – and the first goal is a goal kick, not a corner.

“I’m not going to use that as an excuse – the score line gets the referee off the hook, the fact it was 4-1 gets him off the hook.

“It was not an acceptable performance from the referee today but that wasn’t the reason we lost.”

Cooper lauded the impact of teenage striker Young who stepped up to the plate to replace the injured Jamille Matt, scoring with a sumptuous strike. 

He added: “He did very well, I would have just preferred if he scored early on to get us in front,” said Cooper. “I’ve got no issues with his ability and his conversion rate, it’s just today is what he’s about; he worked, he ran, his desire was top draw and he has to do that nearly every game.”

Rovers welcome 11th placed Salford City on Easter Monday, 3pm.

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