Forest Green were humbled by Lincoln City in the FA Cup First Round as they crashed out of the competition after a 6-2 defeat, writes Sam Wiles.

Goals from Elliot Whitehouse and Jake Young were not enough to stop an onslaught from the League One opposition.

Speaking to BBC Radio Gloucestershire, Mark Cooper admitted that his side had some clear chances but Lincoln took theirs better.

He said: “We had some brilliant chances that we didn’t take and they did.

“The first two chances Lincoln have; they score two goals and it’s then a tough afternoon.”

Odin Bailey and Jake Young both had clear opportunities to get on the score sheet for Rovers but spurned them. Cooper accepted that missing these chances put his side at a disadvantage.

“Odin had a clear one on one and Young had a clear one on one but they missed them both and you pay the price,” he said. “When we have two clear one on ones and we should be two-nil up.”

The games are coming thick and fast for Rovers so Cooper used this cup match to rest some regular starters, something which he stated left his side looking weak.

He said: “We took the spine of the team out because we had to.

“We had three players that had to rest but it left us really soft and you can’t give the opposition that much to go on when they’re a top of League One team.”

With promotion hopes on the horizon for Forest Green, Cooper spoke about using this loss against League One opponents as something to learn from.

“It’s good for the players to see they need to up their game a level to be in League One,” he said.

Forest Green next face Swindon in the Football League Trophy Group Stages but Cooper isn’t concentrating too much on that contest.

“The focus before today was Mansfield next Saturday,” he admitted. “I make no bones about saying that, the focus was about Mansfield.”

Swindon travel to the Innocent New Lawn on Tuesday night.