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03.04.2007 @ 19:45 The New Lawn Crowd: 782
Forest Green Rovers 0 - 0 Grays Athletic
Referee: P Gibbs Conference National-Match

None None
Starting Line-ups
Ryan Robinson
Darren Jones
Chris Giles
Mark Preece
Kevin Nicholson
Alex Lawless
Simon Clist
Michael Brough
Lee Dodgson
Mark Beesley
Danny Carey-Bertram
Danny Knowles
Andy Sambrook
Jamie Stuart
Simon Downer
Anthony Tonkin
Tom Williamson
Stuart Thurgood
Ben Harding
Dennis Oli
Aaron O'Connor
Leroy Griffiths
Ryan Harrison
John Hardiker
Jamie Pitman
Paul Stonehouse
Shaun Lamb
Ashley Bayes
Jay Smith
Anthony Barness
Dean Howell
Alex Rhodes
Jamie Pitman -> Michael Brough (49)
Paul Stonehouse -> Mark Beesley (61)
Shaun Lamb -> Lee Dodgson (90)
Dean Howell -> Leroy Griffiths (65)
Alex Rhodes -> Aaron O'Connor (84)
Yellow cards
None Anthony Tonkin (63)
Red cards
None None
Match report |
Two teams who looked afraid to lose played out a less than memorable Nationwide Conference stalemate at the New Lawn on Tuesday.

Misplaced passes and raised offside flags were only outnumbered by groans of frustration from the home fans, as Forest Green dipped well below this season's much-improved standards for a second home game in succession.

The hosts missed a glorious opportunity to open the scoring in the 17th minute. Kevin Nicholson's superb cross from the left begged for a finishing touch, but Beesley could only head unconvincingly into the turf and straight at keeper Danny Knowles from eight yards out.

This temporarily brought a spark to an unattractive contest, and two minutes later a lovely passing move involving Michael Brough and Beesley ended with a screwed shot wide by Danny Carey-Bertram.

Rovers old boy Ben Harding threatened first for the visitors, getting a toe to Anthony Tonkin's cross-shot in the 29th minute and forcing Ryan Robinson to tip around the post.

Six minutes later Harding brought an even better save from the former Morecambe stopper, seizing on Preece's poor clearance and producing a fierce shot from the edge of the penalty area which had to be acrobatically pushed over.

Grays grew in confidence as the half progressed, and Andy Sambrook might have connected better with a 20-yard effort which was comfortably fielded by Robinson.

Forest Green were looking increasingly edgy at the back, and three minutes before the break Jamie Stuart saw his header from Stuart Thurgood's corner clip the top of the crossbar.

The second period began at a livelier tempo, and another inswinging Nicholson delivery was cleared hurriedly at the back post by Tonkin.

Rovers suffered a blow moments later when skipper Brough hobbled off injured.

Aaron O'Connor's fierce drive from the right corner of the area had to be clawed away to safety by Robinson on 70 minutes, but by now the game had degenerated badly again in terms of quality.

One goal would surely win the night, and Rovers thought they had it on 83 minutes when Alex Lawless was put clean through by Lee Dodgson and nicked the ball past Knowles - only for the excellent Sambrook to hack to safety a foot from the line.

The point edges Grays a place up the table. They are now fifth bottom, a place and two points above the drop zone, having climbed over Tamworth who were beaten 1-0 by Northwich Victoria, while fellow strugglers Halifax also went down 2-0 to Grays' promotion-chasing Thames neighbours Gravesend and Northfleet.

Thanks to the Thurrock Gazette for the match report