Northampton Town 1 Forest Green Rovers 1
Forest Green boss Rob Edwards insists Nicky Cadden was fouled in the lead up to Northampton Town’s dramatic stoppage-time equaliser.
In a contentious contest, it was the runaway league leaders who started sluggishly, Northampton’s lively Mitch Pinnock spanking the post from the edge of the box inside five minutes, but it was Rovers who opened their account in controversial circumstances – Matty Stevens turning in his 17th goal of the season from a 70th- minute Cadden corner with Northampton adamant the ball hadn’t crossed the line.
The outstanding Udoka Godwin-Malife’s 87 th minute block to deny Chanka Zimba should have been enough for Rovers, but it was Pinnock who snatched a controversial point on 95 minutes – driving beyond the sprawling Luke McGee despite Cadden being caught in the face by Shaun Williams in the action up to the goal. The Cobblers greeted the goal like a win as a number of their fans invaded the pitch at Sixfields.
Edwards told BBC Radio Gloucestershire’s Billy Hunt: “For their equaliser, Nicky (Cadden) definitely got caught but sometimes you get those decisions and sometimes you don’t and we didn’t get that one and the lad finished it very well.”
And on Stevens’ goal, he added: “I genuinely have not seen our goal back so I can’t really comment on it.
“I saw the side of the net move from my view and the lads were convinced so obviously I’m going to appeal.
“There were a lot of decisions throughout the game and some went for us and others didn’t and that’s just the nature of football.”
Rovers’ point made it a league record of 13 games without defeat – the last defeat coming on October 9th at home to Swindon Town.
Edwards added: “It’s a great point away from home. Obviously, we’re disappointed with the manner of it and how late they scored.
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“It’s a tough one to take but this is a tough place to come so we have to accept it and learn from it because there were areas where we could have been better.
“I think it was a good game. They started off really well which is what you would expect with them being at home.
“It settled down after 10 or 15 minutes and we grew into the game and started to get a bit more control.
“We were the better team in the second half, we played at a better tempo and after we got the goal, we looked a threat on the counter.
“The big thing that I will reflect on is that we should have gone 2-0 up because we had lots of good moments on the counter-attack.
“But some of the defending was excellent and there are loads of positives for us.”
Forest Green Rovers: McGee; Godwin-Malife, Moore-Taylor, Bernard; Wilson, Stevenson, Sweeney, Cadden; Aitchison (Hendry 83), Stevens (March 77), Matt.
Subs not used: Thomas, Edwards, Cargill, Diallo, Young.
Northampton Town: Roberts; McGowan, Horsfall, Guthrie, Koiki; Sowerby, McWilliams; Hoskins, Lewis (Zimba 73), Pinnock; Connolly (Rose 84).
Subs not used: Maxted, Mills, Dyche, Flores, Harriman.
Referee: Marc Edwards.
FGR fans: 276.
Star man: Udoka Godwin-Maliffe – Electric pace got his side out of trouble and monumental tackle late on looked to have won the game for Rovers until the Northampton’s goal at the death.
Rovers face back-to-back home games this week with the visit of in-form Mansfield Town on Tuesday and Carlisle United on Saturday.