Forest Green extended their unbeaten run in the league to eight games after a hard fought 1-1 draw against Exeter City, writes Sam Wiles.

Aaron Collins opened the scoring for the visitors on 16 minutes with a superbly worked corner routine that saw his resulting effort beat Jonny Maxted at his near post.

Archie Collins levelled the score for Exeter on 37 minutes after a defensive Forest Green mishap enabled him to rifle his shot past a helpless Luke McGee.

Rovers boss Mark Cooper accepted that his side underperformed and was happy to head back to Gloucestershire with a point.

Speaking to BBC Radio Gloucestershire, he said: “I’m delighted with the point.

“We had too many players under par today though.

“It’s a brilliant point if we get a good result on Tuesday.”

Cooper also admitted that he gave his squad Christmas Day off and he believed that could have impacted his side’s performance.

“I hold my hands up, I should have had the players in training yesterday and I didn’t,” he added.

“We gave them their GPS units and asked them for half an hour worth of exercise which is what they would have done if they’d been in but It’s not the same as them actually being in.”

Forest Green sit in second place in the League Two standings and are just one point behind leaders Newport County.

Cooper isn’t getting distracted by their league position however as he said: “There’s a long way to go.

“Nothing is decided yet, we have to keep going and keep ticking the score board over and we’ll see where we end up.

“We’re unbeaten for a number of games and we have to keep going and just keep picking points up and that’s what it’s about.”

Forest Green next host tenth placed Crawley Town on Tuesday night and the match will be played without fans as Gloucestershire is now in in tier three - Cooper knows that fans will be missed at the Innocent New Lawn.

“It was fantastic and the players really enjoyed it (having fans back),” he said.

“I just don’t get what this government is trying to do.”