By Sam Wiles

Forest Green survived a late surge in pressure from Harrogate Town to claim a hard fought 2-1 victory.

Defenders Chris Stokes and Kane Wilson both scored their first league goals of the season as they put Rovers ahead after 50 minutes of play.

Deep into injury time, a Harrogate corner was met by Jay Williams who rose highest in the Forest Green box to head home for the visiting side.

As well as a late Harrogate goal to half the deficit, Rovers’ final few minutes were made even more difficult as Elliott Whitehouse was shown a second yellow card.

Despite the late drama, Forest Green managed to hold on to the lead and claimed an important three points to remain in third spot in the League Two standings.

Rovers’ boss Mark Cooper seemed pleased with the result, despite it being a nervy end to the game for his side.

He said: “I think it was the right outcome.

“We should have killed the game off with a great chance to make it 3-0. Odin (Bailey) had a great chance and we didn’t defend properly from a corner and then obviously it becomes tense towards the end but I thought we were pretty comfortable.”

Both of Forest Green’s goals came from the most unlikely of sources as defenders Stokes and Wilson netted for the home side.

Cooper admitted that it is imperative that they use the rare goal contributions as a platform to build from for the rest of the season.

“It’s important that that continues now,” he said. “Stokesy will probably need a hip replacement after that finish with his right foot and it was a great finish from him, he was great today and an absolutely worldie goal from Kane Wilson for the second one but if we can, we want to kick on from there.”

Cooper’s contract is due to end in the summer and the question remains as to whether he will be handed an extension.

Despite the uncertainty, the Rovers boss remains focused on the season and isn’t getting distracted by the issue.

“We’re going to get this season done,” said Cooper. “We’re not going to have any distraction and I’m certainly going to try everything and give everything I’ve got and focus on what needs to be focused on.”

Cooper was able to give an update on the fitness of both Ebou Adams and Jordan Moore-Taylor as he hinted that they may be in contention for their next game.

He said: “Ebou (Adams) is going to have a scan on the weekend, now, just to make sure he’s on track. It would be perfect if he was because obviously for us Elliott Whitehouse will be suspended and there’s an outside chance that Jordan Moore-Taylor could make it if he’s allowed to play with a lightweight cast.

“We’re keeping our fingers crossed that both of those boys will be available for next Saturday.”

Forest Green next face a trip to second placed Cambridge United on Saturday in what is a hugely important game for both sides (kick off 3pm).