After refusing to sport a tie, Forest Green chairman Dale Vince joined the fans on the Carlilse terraces and watched his side cut a dash and maintain their lofty position at the top of the League Two tree.
Rovers’ leftfield leader chose not to comply with the suited and booted policy in the Carlisle boardroom and joined CEO Henry Staelens with 114 away fans to witness another polished performance from Rob Edwards’ league leaders.
However, Rovers did have some boardroom representation with Forest Green vice-chairman Phil Butterworth having bought a tie in a charity shop so that he could sit in the directors’ area alongside one-time chairman and former Stroud MP David Drew.
Ironically, Vince sat in front of large sponsorship signs for meat, as a result of that stand’s sponsorship by Pioneer Foodservice, whose chairman is United co-owner Andrew Jenkins.
The banter flowed from minute one with Rovers’ fans singing, ‘We wear what we want…’
Carlisle supporters responded to fans of the vegan club by singing: ‘You only came for the pasties’ during the game.
Rovers looked hungry from the get-go and were a cut above from start to finish but were indebted to a stunning reactionary stop from goalkeeper Luke McGee, which set the tone for his side to derail a Carlisle side who had previously been unbeaten in 11 home games. Jamille Matt’s seventh goal of the season – touching in from a Ben Stevenson corner on 29 minutes saw Rovers turn the screw.
Four minutes later flying Scotsman Nicky Cadden added a second as he bolted onto an exquisite Matt touch to let fly from the edge of the box to hit a sumptuous strike into the bottom corner for his fourth league goal in only 10 games as Rovers made it five games unbeaten, posting their fifth straight clean sheet in the process.
Carlisle United: Norman, Riley, Armer (Bell 80), Feeney, Dinzeyi, Whelan, Guy, Mellish, Toure (Abrahams 66), Dickenson, Young (Clough 71). Not used: Jensen, Mellor, Alessandra, Charters.
Forest Green: McGee, Wilson, Moore-Taylor, Bernard, Hendry (March 89), Sweeney (Cargill 53), Stevenson, Adams, Cadden, Stevens (Aitchison 71), Matt. Not used: Thomas, Evans, Young, Diallo.
Goals: Matt 29, Cadden 33
Ref: Samuel Barrott.
Attendance: 3,963 (114 Forest Green fans)
Star Man: Ben Stevenson – unsung hero kept Rovers ticking over.