Forest Green Rovers 0
Exeter City 4
Former Forest Green midfielder Jevani Brown bagged a hat-trick as Exeter City emphatically gained the west country lunchtime derby day bragging rights.
Brown struck twice from the penalty spot as Matt Taylor’s side moved into the early season play-off places against a Forest Green team hamstrung by injuries.
In a high-octane first-half, toothless Rovers pressed the self-destruct button on six minutes – Blackpool loanee Oliver Casey squandered possession for Brown to find Sam Nombe who finished with aplomb beyond the exposed Luke McGee.
The Grecians spurned a great chance to make it 2-0 inside 20 minutes – Nombe slalomed across the box to cut the ball back to Ipswich loanee Rakeen Harper who skewed his shot out of the stadium.
Exeter were handed a fortuitous penalty on 25 minutes – McGee’s finger-tips saw Ben Stevenson’s clearing high boot appear to catch Harper, leaving Brown to convert the resultant spot-kick.
Rovers rallied – Connor Wickham bringing the best out of Jamal Blackman and then the Grecians’ keeper clawing away a Dom Bernard stab.
However, Exeter made it three on 41 minutes – Fulham loanee Jay Stansfield drove into the box for Brown to grab his second.
After the break, McGee’s gloved save from a Pierce Sweeney volley on 63 minutes prevented a fourth for Exeter.
Rovers felt they had claims for a penalty with 20 minutes to go – Bernard being pushed in the box by Jack Sparkes.
At the other end, Bernard upended Sparkes for a penalty, leaving Brown to bag his second from the spot and his hat-trick on 83 minutes.
Forest Green: McGee, Bernard, Casey, Stevenson, Hendry, Moore-Taylor, Jones, McAllister, Wickham, Peart-Harris, Davis
Subs: Thomas, Little, Fiabema, O’Brien, Bunker, March, Brown
Exeter City: Blackman, Caprice, Sparkes, Hartridge, Harper, Collins, Stansfield, Nombe, Key, Brown, Sweeney
Subs: Brown, Jay, Smith, Chauke, Cox, Borges, King
Exeter fans: 683
Referee: Ben Speedie
FGR Star Man: Luke McGee