FGR manager Mark Cooper was pleased with the way his make-shift side acquitted themselves despite falling out of the Checkatrade Trophy to Yeovil Town.

First-half goals from Nathan Smith and Connor Smith, the former netting in just the third minute, had Rovers chasing the game.

However, Forest Green were still able to dominate large sections of the game from a possession point of view.

They were unable to pull a goal back as Dayle Grubb saw two free-kicks well saved and Keanu Marsh-Brown was unable to turn home a Jordan Simpson cross in the second half, which would have made for a tense finish for the hosts.

“I thought we played some really good football,” Cooper said.

“During the game we had a period in the second half where we totally dominated and needed to score.

“Keanu had a brilliant chance and just headed it wide and we needed to score then.

“We conceded two really poor goals.

“The first goal is a goal kick not a corner the referee has admitted which they score from and the second goal, we’re attacking and they have a ball over the top and they’re in on goal.

“I thought the boys who come in and played out of position did really well.”

Dayle Grubb and Alex Whittle both impressed on their full debuts for the club as Cooper made seven changes to the team that beat Port Vale on Saturday.

Christian Doidge, who travelled, Isaiah Osbourne and Lee Collins were all rested with Cooper keen to keep one eye on survival in League Two.

“I thought Grubby outstanding, he played in that little pocket there and caused them problems but we just needed to score a goal and it would have made the game interesting,” he added.

“We had one or two niggles coming into this that we couldn’t risk.

“We wanted to win the game but we couldn’t risk Doidge and we couldn’t risk Lee Collins tonight and the three boys that we signed were cup tied.

“We were a little bit hampered in the decisions we could make on the team front.”

Mark Roberts was forced off injured in the second half which handed also handed a debut to 16-year-old academy midfielder, who Cooper was impressed by and is encouraging more to follow in the footsteps of Jordan Stevens.

Cooper said: “He did well, didn’t he?

“My outlook is, let’s give some of the younger boys a chance and I thought he acquitted himself really well and didn’t look out of place.

“I think it’s important that we send that message that there is a pathway for the younger players from the academy to get into the team if they’re good enough.”