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Forest Green 2 Oldham Athletic 0: Rovers on the verge of promotion

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Forest Green will travel to Bristol Rovers on an electric bus, but measured boss Rob Edwards is keeping the brakes on any promotion talk.

Forest Green are on the cusp of promotion as first-half goals from Regan Hendry and Jamile Matt pushed Oldham Athletic deeper into the relegation mire.

With four games to go, Edwards’ league leaders now require a draw at Bristol Rovers on Saturday to confirm promotion to League One.

However Edwards aired caution on promotion talk, he said: “No, not up yet. We want to get a promotion first and see where it takes us with four games to go. It’s a good looking game on Saturday and that’s the same for Bristol Rovers, but I don’t want to fall over the line, I want to sprint over it.”

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Jamille Matt celebrates his goal with Jack Aitchison Pic: Shane Healey/ Pro Sports Images

Edwards was delighted to see his side react from their 4-0 drubbing at Barrow on Good Friday. He added: “The fans wanted to see a reaction from Friday and I thought we started the game on the front foot -with lots of opportunities in the first half. The second goal was fantastic and delighted for Jamille Matt. In the second-half we had to stay compact and I was delighted to see the penalty go over the bar. The crowd was magnificent and we heard them and they got the extra yard from the players.”

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Regan Hendry performs a knee slide goal celebration Pic: Shane Healey/ Pro Sports Images

Oldham are now staring relegation to the National League in the face, with Latics boss John Sheridan insisting he wanted to run on the pitch and take the penalty himself when Christopher Missilou fired over the bar in the second-half, he told BBC Radio Manchester, he said: “I wanted to run on the pitch and grab the ball off him,” he fumed. “We have  more experienced players who could have taken it – I didn’t watch it – I’m  not blaming him but it was a big moment in the game.”

Sheridan isn’t giving up hope as Oldham head downwards: “It is going to be very difficult, but I’ve  got to have a bit of hope, with three games to go.”

A high-octane opening saw Odham keeper suffer a heavy blow to his hand when going down bravely at the feet of Josh March inside the opening two minutes.

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Kane Wilson drives forward Pic: Shane Healey/ Pro Sports Images

Hendry settled any promotion nerves for Rovers as his deflected strike from the edge of the box squirmed through the fingers of Rogers to hand the league leaders and 8th-minute opener.

Rogers made a series of decent stops Josh March and Matt.

At the other end, Luke McGee denied Davis Kellor-Dunn with his feet.

Three minutes before the break Matt ended his 16-game run without a goal – the Rovers’ captain nodding in from a Nicky Cadden cross.

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Forest Green boss Rob Edwards celebrates Pic: Shane Healey/ Pro Sports Images

Matt should have made it 3-0 on the cusp of the break after Will Sutton squandered possession, but Matt fluffed his lines with just Rogers to beat. 

Oldham were handed a penalty lifeline with 11 minutes to go when Ebou Adams was adjudged to have fouled Jordan Clarke in the box. Missilou inexplicably fired the ball over McGee’s bar and out of the stadium.

Oldham Athletic: Rogers, Clarke, Hart, McGahey, Whelan, Keillor-Dunn, Stobbs, Bahamboula (Vaughan 75), Hopcutt (Adams 46), Missilou, Sutton (Jameson 46).

Subs not used: Leitwiler, Diarra, Hunt, Couto.

Forest Green Rovers: McGee, Wilson, Cargill, Adams, Aitchison (Bernard 64), Cadden (Sweeney 85), Matt, Moore-Taylor, Hendry, Godwin-Malife, March.

Subs not used: Thomas, Allen, Young, Diallo, McAteer.

Star Man: Regan Hendry.

Referee: Stephen Martin

Attendance: 3,137 (504 away)

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