Mansfield Town 1 Forest Green 0 - full time
MANSFIELD TOWN 1 FOREST GREEN ROVERS 0
FOREST Green suffered their third straight Blue Square Bet Premier defeat at Field Mill to slip six points off the summit.
A mostly drab game was settled in the 89th minute by Matt Rhead, a huge relief to under-fire Stags boss Paul Cox.
Rovers suffered late disruption to their preparations, Chris Stokes injuring his thigh during the warm-up to bring in Jared Hodgkiss for his first appearance of the season.
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A golden chance went begging in the 14th minute when Yan Klukowski raced clear in the left channel and dragged wide of the far post with Steve Brogan screaming for a pass in the middle.
The Stags responded in the shape of a spectacular 25-yard volley from wing-back Colin Daniel, which had to be helped around the post by an alert Sam Russell.
In the 63rd minute Matty Taylor met Hodgkiss' cross with a header that brought a sharp low save from Liam Mitchell.
The game looked to be drifting to an unremarkable stalemate, but it was the hosts who snatched all three points when Exodus Geohaghon's long throw into the area was headed past the helpless Russell from close range.
See Monday's Citizen for Peter Orchard's match overview, match reaction and pictures.
Forest Green: S. Russell; J. Hodgkiss, J. Turley, A. Racine, E. Asafu-Adjaye; K. Forbes, P. Green (M. Vieira 65), S. Brogan (B. Wright 76); J. Norwood (O. Koroma 88), M. Taylor, Y. Klukowski; Subs not used: J. Rowe, R. Styche.