Forest Green were left to rue a lacklustre first-half as they suffered a 1-0 loss to second placed Cambridge United on Saturday afternoon.

The home side netted the opening - and only goal of the contest - on 38 minutes as veteran midfielder Wesley Hoolahan fired an effort underneath Lewis Thomas.

Thomas did come to Rovers’ rescue prior to the goal as he made a fine save to stop Paul Mullin converting from the penalty spot.

Forest Green boss Mark Cooper admitted after the game that he was frustrated that his side didn’t appear to get going until the second-half.

Speaking to BBC Radio Gloucestershire, he said: “You can’t just turn it on and off and play when you want to play and today, for 45 minutes, we didn’t turn up.

“If you do that against a good team you’re asking for trouble and Cambridge were miles better than us in the first-half

“It shouldn’t take being 1-0 down to perform, we need to perform from the start and we were really, really poor in the first-half.”

Rovers looked as though they struggled to cope with Cambridge’s threat, especially during the first half, and Cooper called for his side to give him more energy than they displayed in Saturday’s contest.

“We had four, five players that were nowhere near the level in terms of energy,” he said.

“I can put up with people not playing well but they have to fight, they have to scrap and we didn’t do that today in certain areas.”

After going a goal down, Rovers had a fantastic opportunity to level the scores through an Aaron Collins header but unfortunately for Cooper and his men, the chance went begging.

“These games are turned on things like that and if that had have gone in it could’ve been interesting but we can’t waste the amount of time we did today waiting for things to happen,” Cooper said on the chance. “We have to go and make things happen ourselves.”

Forest Green began the game fairly depleted in midfield as Ebou Adams and Jordan Moore-Taylor missed out through injury and Elliott Whitehouse remained suspended.

There was potentially the chance for Moore-Taylor to have could come back into contention for Cooper’s side but the Rovers boss was able to provide an update on his situation.

He said: “He’s had an operation, hasn’t he? So, we have to wait a certain amount of time for the bones and the plate and the screws to heal before the surgeon will allow him to play with a cast on and that amount of time is not up yet. We have a duty of care to Jordan; he’s had an operation so we have to make sure we don’t put him at too much risk.

Forest Green next travel to 16th placed Mansfield Town on Tuesday evening (kick off 6pm).