FORMER Forest Green captain Liam Noble returned to his old stamping ground to keep Notts County’s play-off aspirations on track and end Rovers’ five-game winning home streak.

Noble struck on 34 minutes, touching home inside the box in a dour first-half.

Mark Cooper shuffled his Forest Green pack after the break and his side levelled things up on 72 minutes with a stunning goal from substitute Tahvon Campbell. Rovers were on top and Campbell struck the bar from the edge of the box just three minutes later.

Rovers pressed self-destruct button on 80 minutes. Matt Tootle took aim in the box with the ball going through the hands of Chelsea loanee Brad Collins.

This match was always going to be spicy after the two clubs held a public war of words last summer over the Magpies’ pursuit of Liam Noble, who rejoined Notts in October. The former Forest Green captain, who led Rovers into the Football League, was afforded a frosty return to his old stamping ground – greeted by a chorus of boos.

Ever-present Doidge failed to recover from an ankle injury sustained in Tues-day night's 3-3 thriller at Newport County and is expected to be sidelined for a fortnight.

With Doidge missing out, boss Mark Cooper has opted to tweak his formation from a traditional 4-4-2 to 4-3-3.

Lee Collins, who scored in the draw at Newport, came into the starting line-up to bolster the midfield.

Meanwhile, Dan Wishart replaced Alex Bray, who dropped to the bench after feeling unwell.

Roared on by more than 700 County fans, the Magpies almost swooped on three minutes – Elliott Hewitt seeing his strike deflected. That was it for any meaningful action as the opening exchanges lacked intensity.

Rovers had to wait until the 23rd minute to register their first shot on goal – Reuben Reid demanding a plunging save from Adam Collin.

The game needed a spark and Notts found one, taking the lead on 34 minutes as Rovers failed to clear the ball out of the box. Former Premier League star Jon Stead, 34, boasts experience in spades, but the ageing striker was well-shackled until he combined with Jorge Grant for Lewis Alessandra to take a tumble under the challenge of Brad Collins and as the ball broke free Noble was on hand to score against his former club. Rovers were rocked – Stead almost fading one in on the cusp of the break.

From the second-half get-go, Rovers’ Chris Clements spanked a skidder from the edge of the box, which Collin did well to touch around the post. Gavin Gunning nodded over the subsequent Dayle Grubb corner.

Cooper shuffled his pack beyond the hour, switching to a 3-5-2 formation.

On came  Charlie Cooper replacing a limping Dale Bennett and Tahvon Campbell entered the fray with devastating aplomb.

Rovers levelled things up on 72 minutes with a Campbell howitzer. Released by Reid, the West Brom loanee put Carl Dickinson on the floor to spank a sumptuous rising strike over Collin. Campbell had the bit between his teeth, fizzing against the bar from the edge of the box just three minutes later.

Rovers were on top but the self-destruct button was pressed on 80 minutes. Matt Tootle took aim in the box with the ball going through the hands of Brad Collins.

Noble picked up a late booking for the Magpies as did Forest Green sub Cooper.

Forest Green: (4-3-3) B Collins; Bennett (Cooper 60), Gunning, Rawson, Hollis; L Collins, Grubb (Campbell 64), Osbourne, Clements (Brown 81), Wishart; Reid

Subs not used: Belford, Simpson, Laird, Bray

Notts County: (4-4-2) Collin, Tootle, Duffy, Hall (Brisley 86), Dickinson; Hawkridge ( Virtue 71), Grant, Hewitt, Noble, Alessandra, Stead (Ameobi 84)

Subs not used: Pindroch, Smith, Walker ,Jones

Attendance: 2,893

Away fans: 711

Referee: Mark Heywood

Star Man: Tahvon Campell