Dave Hockaday: I can't fault Forest Green Rovers effort
DAVE Hockaday was far from downcast after Forest Green missed a chance to gain ground in the Blue Square Bet Premier promotion race.
Up against managerless Stockport County at an icy Edgeley Park, Rovers found themselves 2-0 down after 49 minutes after goals from Sean Newton and Jon Nolan.
A magnificent 63rd-minute strike from substitute Reece Styche hauled Hockaday's men back into the contest, but the Hatters held on to inflict the visitors' first defeat of 2013.
The result unquestionably represented a blown opportunity, with losses for top-six cohorts Newport County and Kidderminster Harriers and other fixtures succumbing to the freezing weather.
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But Hockaday had few complaints with his side's performance, and felt they had been unfortunate to play Stockport four days after the sacking of manager Jim Gannon.
"I thought we played really well and I can't fault the effort," said Hockaday.
"We moved the ball about and created chances, and it's a cruel game because I felt we deserved to win it.
"Performances don't win matches, and we need to nail the moments, but I'm not downhearted because other teams will lose and draw. If we keep playing like that I'm a happy manager.
"The one bit of fortune you can't do anything about is their manager has gone, lots of people were looking at them and they were all on trial again.
"It gave them a lift, and unfortunately for us they took the few chances they had and punished us cruelly."
There was a Rovers debut from the bench on Saturday for forward Yemi Odubade, snapped up on loan from Gateshead until the end of the season.
Hockaday has hinted the 28-year-old's arrival could be the last piece of business conducted at the New Lawn during the January transfer window.
Top scorer James Norwood has been the subject of much speculation, but Hockaday insisted: "There will be nobody going out.
"Coming in? We are looking, but what's the point of getting somebody in who is not as good as we've got or doesn't fit in with the jigsaw we're putting together?
"I'm really happy with my players and we've got a few more to come back from injuries."
Forest Green are due to play their first home match of the year against Hereford United tomorrow night, although the ongoing freeze could force a postponement.