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Forest Green 3 Carlisle United 0: Boss Edwards hails the ‘Matt attack’

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Forest Green boss Rob Edwards lauded the impact of the ‘Matt attack’ as Jamille Matt and Matty Stevens kept the runaway league leaders on course for promotion.

Stevens who signed a new contract on Friday, bagged his 19th goal of the season and Matt chipped in with his 17th as Rovers maintained their seven-point lead at the summit.

Edwards beamed: “It’s amazing what they’re doing, but not just the goals – the workrate and hold-up play from both of them is phenomenal and they were different class. Matty has been a really big player for us this season with his goal return so far and hopefully many more to come. His overall commitment and work ethic on a daily basis is exemplary. He still might be a young player, but he’s one of the leaders and sets an example every day.” 

Rovers led at the break through Morgan Feeney’s own-goal and turned up the heat in the second half thanks to Stevens’ neat finish and  Matt’s fizzing finish.

Earlier, Rovers’ Nicky Cadden fizzed a strike into the grateful hands of Cumbrians keeper Mark Howard. Carlisle responded – Jon Mellish spanking wide.

PSI SH Forest Green Rovers Carlisle United 22Jan 1241 | Forest Green 3 Carlisle United 0: Boss Edwards hails the 'Matt attack'
Matty Stevens celebrates his goal Pic:Shane Healey/ Pro Sports Images

However,  Rovers’ pressure told – the unfortunate Feeney turning the ball into his own net from Cadden’s cross on 16 minutes. Cadden was catching the eye and this time his free-kick found the head of Matt who planted his header straight at Howard. As the first-half drew to a close, Jake Young drilled a good opportunity wide from a Matt flick.

Rovers made it 2-0 on 52 minutes – the prolific Stevens slamming home after fine footwork in the box from Young.

Rovers wrapped things up on 77 minutes – substitute Jack Aitchison teeing Matt up for a clinical finish as Rob Edwards’ side extended their unbeaten run to  14 games.

Carlisle boss Keith Millen felt his side were the better side before Rovers’ second goal went in. 

“First half, we were ok, and started  the game really well and were the better side and got into some dangerous areas, but we gifted them a goal and we were the better side when they scored the second. We were too open and exposed and they punished us, but Forest Green were better in both boxes better than us.”

Millen, who had guided his team to five games unbeaten challenged his players to get better in the second-half of the season: “We are a team in transition and today, was a good test for us and we fell short. 

“The last 30 minutes, we won’t be like that again- they showed us their quality and punished us.

“We have to be better when we are playing well, like we were in the first half. I have told the players to go home and analyse themselves in the video on how they can improve as a team and individually.”

Forest Green: McGee, Wilson, Cargill, Moore-Taylor, Godwin-Malife, Stevenson, Hendry (Diallo 85), Cadden, Young (Aitchison 64), Matt (Sweeney 80), Stevens.

Not used: Thomas, Bernard, Edwards, March.

Star Man: Nicky Cadden.

Goals: Feeney 16og, Stevens 53, Matt 77

Booked: Cargill.

United: Howard, Senior, Armer, McDonald, Feeney, Guy, Mellish, Dickenson (Fishburn 68), Gibson (Clough 78), Patrick, Omotoye (Alessandra 68).

Not used: Norman, Devine, Riley, Whelan.

Booked: Armer, Guy.

Ref: Craig Hicks

Crowd: 2,864 (267 United fans)

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