Cheltenham Town’s unbeaten run in Sky Bet League One ended abruptly, as they were beaten 1-0 by fellow Gloucestershire outfit Forest Green Rovers.
Myles Peart Harris’ header 15 minutes from time proved to be the difference the two teams on a chilly afternoon in Nailsworth.
Rovers had the first clear sight of goal in the 12th minute, when Sean Long was able to scrape the ball off the line under pressure from Peart-Harris.
Luke Southwood was called into action for the first time when Peart-Harris found space to shoot from outside box, with the Robins ‘keeper having to react quickly to turn the low shot away from his bottom left corner.
Southwood displayed a good pair of hands a couple of minutes later, athletically leaping into the air to catch Oliver Casey’s header back across goal.
Peart-Harris forced another save out of Southwood from a similar position as before, this time after the ball was chested down to him. Despite the extra venom on the strike, Southwood was once again able to beat the ball away to safety.
The Robins got their first opportunity when Caleb Taylor’s flick-on fell kindly for Dan Nlundulu on the edge of the six-yard box. McGee was out quickly to close him down and saved his shot with his legs before Rovers were able to clear.
Alfie May nearly repeated his heroics of the previous match against Charlton, once again reaching a half-clearance from McGee and attempting a first-time effort on goal, but this time the Rovers ‘keeper was able to fling himself across his box to make a recovery save.
Southwood had to be on his toes to prevent a Rovers cross looping over his head into the net, and fortunately for the Robins, when the follow-up fell for Josh March, the Rovers midfielder could only blaze his shot out for a throw-in.
Baily Cargill was next to test Southwood’s handling, with another looping header back across goal. Again, the Robins ‘keeper was equal to it, even able to hold on when March clattered into him as he landed.
Eventually however, Southwood’s goal was breached. Peart-Harris was able to flick the ball into the far corner with a header, putting the hosts in front with 15 minutes remaining.
Rovers looked to press home their advantage in the final 10 minutes. Harry Boyes came close with a left-footed shot from 25 yards that rose just over the crossbar.
The Robins pushed for a leveller, but Charlie Brown’s wayward left-footed effort was the attempt they could fashion.
Robins: Southwood (GK), Long (C), Taylor, Freestone, Broom, Williams (Brown 79’), Bonds (Norton 79’), Sercombe, Olayinka (Adshead 57’), May, Nlundulu
Unused: McDonald (GK), Raglan, Hutchinson, Jackson
Forest Green Rovers: McGee (GK), Bernard, McGeouch (Little 54’), Casey, Cargill, Stevenson, Boyes, McAllister (Bunker 79’), Wickham (Matt 71’), Peart-Harris, March
Unused: Thomas (GK), Hendry, Fiabema, Robertson, Bunker
Referee: T Reeves
Attendance: 4077 (1200 away)