Forest Green Rovers' promotion hopes have been dealt a huge blow after Mark Cooper revealed top scorer Jamille Matt will miss the remainder of the season with a "very significant hand injury”

Rovers dropped out of the automatic promotion spots as they lost 1-0 to Bolton Wanderers on Saturday afternoon.

Playing in front of the Sky Cameras, Rovers knew that this was a proverbial six-pointer as defeat would see their northern visitors leapfrog them in the League Two standings.

In a game that was bereft of clear chances, it was the ever-dangerous Eoin Doyle who produced a piece of magic for Bolton in the form of a sublime first time volley that separated the two.

Sadly however, the game was overshadowed by the sickening injury that Rovers’ top-scorer Jamille Matt suffered inside the first five minutes.

Following the match, Mark Cooper was able to shine some light on the “significant, very significant hand injury” his striker suffered and declared that there would be “none, zero” chance of Matt playing again this season.

In spite of the fact that Matt’s absence will leave a big hole in his team, the Forest Green boss is expecting others to step up and help fill his boots.

“We’ll have to find a different way without big Jamma, we wish him well and we’ll rally round him and he’ll be alright,” said Cooper.

“Maybe now some of the boys that haven’t played as much, maybe now is the time for them to get an opportunity and give us that little bit of impetus and energy going into the last nine games.”

Despite the loss and devastating injury Matt obtained, Cooper remained defiant after the contest as he felt his side deserved more from the game.

He said: “We didn’t deserve to lose the game, no way.

“I thought we did fine, had some good chances, I thought we had the best chances and we should have won the game.

“Sometimes football is cruel and it’s been cruel today but hopefully we’re on the right side of it next week.”

Next up for Forest Green is Bradford and a game which provides them the opportunity to score for the first time in three games.

With the season ramping up and those promotion spots remaining the end goal for Cooper’s men, he insisted that Bradford is “just another game.”

“It’s just Bradford away,” he added. “We’ve got to go and perform and get a result, things can change in a heartbeat.”

Rovers will travel to Bradford this coming Friday (kick off 3pm).