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REACTION: Frustrated Cooper blasts “mentally weak” Forest Green after resilient Port Vale salvage a point

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FOREST GREEN boss Mark Cooper lambasted his side after they missed the chance to top the table.

His team were well on course to take three points in their assault on automatic promotion after Nicky Cadden had given Rovers a first-half lead, but Devante Rodney’s rocket 13 minutes from time saw Port Vale pinch a point.

Cooper ragged. “We should win the game, our players were mentally weak. “Their biggest threat is Devante Rodney and we showed the players individual clips on him and they backed off and allowed him to score. 

“We haven’t gone on and got the second goal. I put players on to go and get a second goal, but we need someone with courage and desire to get into the six-yard box to make the difference and win the game.” 

The first shot in anger arrived on 15 minutes –  former Bristol City midfielder Scott Wagstaff let fly with a stinging  volley from the edge of the box  to induce a gloved response from Vale’s Scott Brown. 

Rovers nosed ahead on 20 minutes – Cadden’s free-kick going in via the slightest of deflections off Chris Stokes and a Vale defender before nestling in the bottom of Brown’s net.

Rodney came close to netting parity for Vale on 61 minutes –  darting inside the box to see the outstretched boot of McGee kick his strike to safety. Moments later  Brown almost gifted Rovers a second as he flapped at a high Aaron Collins free-kick, but he recovered well to deny Jamille Matt’s follow-up. 

Rodney found his range for Vale on 77 minutes with an exquisite hit from 25 yards off the base off the post and beyond the sprawling McGee for his seventh league goal of the season. 

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