Mark Cooper hails Forest Green’s ‘tenacity’ after comeback win

Mark Cooper
Mark Cooper (PA Archive)
18:40pm, Sat 24 Oct 2020
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Forest Green boss Mark Cooper was full of praise for his side as they came from behind with two late goals to beat stubborn Morecambe

The home side looked set for the points after an A-Jay Leitch-Smith strike in the 19th minute but a Jake Young goal 11 miles from time gave Cooper’s side a lift and Jamille Matt earned the victory with a fine header three minutes later.

Cooper said: “We started well but then conceded a rubbish goal again, which is something we have to stop doing because it gives the opposition something to hang on to.

“We became a bit anxious after that but the boys showed great tenacity and kept going and in the end showed a lot of desire to get the win.

“It was difficult for us because Morecambe played so deep that we couldn’t get behind them, but they started to tire towards the end and our subs came on and made a difference which is what they are there for.

“We kept at it. We changed the system three or four times and it was a case of keep moving the ball around as gaps began to appear. They are a really good dogged, determined and organised side but we kept moving them around the pitch and we got our rewards.

“It’s been a hard week for us with six players ruled out so to take six points in that time is magnificent and the boys deserve a lot of credit.”

Morecambe took the lead with a fine finish from Leitch-Smith, making his first start of the season, who drilled a superb low effort into the bottom left corner of Luke McGee’s goal from just inside the box.

Odin Bailey struck the crossbar before substitute Young brought the visitors back into the game with a fine finish from eight yards out on 79 minutes after Matt’s knockdown. Three minutes later Matt sealed the points with a powerful header.

Morecambe boss Derek Adams was left annoyed with the officials once again as he felt Forest Green’s first goal came from a foul.

He said: “We started the game well and stopped them playing and got the goal we deserved.

“We went close to a second and kept frustrating them until they got a goal back, which from my point of view came from a foul on our defender and that proved a pivotal moment. Matt had two hands on our defender in the lead-up to their goal which enabled him to get his head on the ball, but the decision went against us.

“I will wait to see what the referees’ supervisor says about that, because he has already said we had a massive decision go against us at Crawley and that Mansfield should have had a man sent off in midweek, but the decisions are not going with us at big points in games and again that turned the game today.

“Until then we had dealt well with everything they have and overall the only thing we didn’t do well was deal with Matt for the second goal. It is frustrating because the lads worked really hard throughout the game and limited them to very few chances.”

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