The visitors scored their first of the afternoon after just 11 minutes when Ollie Clarke fired into the bottom corner from the edge of the area. The Gloucestershire outfit were arguably the better team for most of the game until striker Tom Nichols got his first goal for his new club after 68 minutes with an effort into the far corner.
It was to be a debut to forget for new signing Richard Keogh, who joined the club last Friday, when Mansfield found the back of the net for the third time. Will Swan found Lucas Akins’ low cross and he turned home from six yards out. The Nottinghamshire side got their fourth and final goal of the game in the seventh minute of added time as Clarke got his second of the day after a sublime finish into the top corner past substitute goalkeeper Jamie Searle.
Rovers find themselves rooted to the bottom of the League Two table and are nine points adrift from safety. This result means they have gone 16 league games without a win – their last coming at the end of October against Crawley Town.
New Forest Green manager Steve Cotterill spoke to the media after the game and felt his side were on top for the majority of the game.
“We were the better team for 60 minutes by a mile, the second goal really deflated us. So, you are already working with boys that have been low on confidence, so then it is an uphill task.”
The 59-year-old was full of praise for fans of the Green Devils and recognised the tough season they have endured so far, Cotterill said:
“It has been a tough old watch for them this season as well.
“Without a shadow of a doubt, I need them behind the boys out on the pitch, we really need that.
“I thank them for their support today because it is really easy to support your team when you are winning and you are top of the table, it is not so easy to back them and support them when you are down at the bottom.”
This has been one horrible season for Forest Green Rovers’ fans. Troy Deeney was a catastrophic failure and if anything, just made their situation a lot worse. Steve Cotterill should have been the appointment they made originally and if anyone is able to keep them up it will be him. Whilst on a miserable run of form, there is still time to get out of the mess they find themselves in and if they can go on a little run from now until the end of the season, they could find some fortune.
They have a tough fixture against fourth-placed Barrow tomorrow night and if they can come away with something, it might be the boost they need to gain some much-needed confidence. If they don’t pick up points soon though it might be a depressing few months for fans as they look to avoid back-to-back relegations.