Cambridge United’s five game unbeaten run in Sky Bet League Two was ended with a 5-2 away defeat at the hands of Forest Green Rovers.
Twice United lead through George Maris and Medy Elito in the first half and looked likely to push on during the opening 20 minutes of the second, but the hosts ran in three goals during the final quarter of the match to put the result beyond the U’s.
Billy Waters was pulled from the squad late in the week following a dead leg picked up in training ahead of the clash and was the only change to United’s starting eleven at the New Lawn.
United raced into an early lead, when George Maris netted with the calmest of finishes on the inside of his right foot following cutting build up play from Jevani Brown and Uche Ikpeazu.
Shaun Derry’s men looked good value for their lead until Rovers star man Christian Doidge pegged them back on 18 minutes with a deft touch to level the match.
The U’s continued to menace the Forest Green defence though and looked likely to create opportunities at goal on each occasion they stepped forward. And on 25 minutes Medy Elito restored United’s advantage, slamming the ball past Bradley Collins at his near post with Uche Ikpeazu again the provider.
The U’s had opportunities to further extend their lead, Collins first denying Maris a second in a one-on-one, before palming Ikpeazu’s fierce strike away from the target once and Haydn Hollis heading the resulting rebound clear.
The hosts dug in once more and after rattling David Forde’s woodwork through Daniel Wishart and Dayle Grubb, the latter was on hand two minutes before the break to sweep Doidge’s cutback cross into the net and ensure the game was all square at half time.
The match continued in similar fashion in the second half, with Grubb firing over the first sight at goal moments after the restart.
Jevani Brown weaved his way through the Forest Green midfield before cutting a fine strike at goal which swirled around before being tipped over by Collins on the hour mark.
With United in the ascendency, Shaun Derry introduced Barry Corr on 73 minutes looking to give the U’s additional fire power in order to win the match.
However, against the run of play Dayle Grubb let fire a rocket at the other end which arrowed past David Forde into the top corner to give the hosts the lead for the first time in the match.
The U’s woes were increased when Christian Doidge closed down David Forde’s clearance eight minutes from time, pick pocketing the keeper before slotting the ball in for a fourth. And in stoppage time substitute Tahvon Campbell rounded off a miserable result for the U’s, who have ten days to pick themselves up until their next fixture in Sky Bet League Two.
Forest Green: Collins, Grubb (Stevens, 87 mins), Collins, Bennett, Brown, Gunning, Wishart (Whittle, 78 mins), Hollis, Osbourne, Reid (Campbell, 80 mins), Doidge
Cambridge United: Forde, Halliday, Darling, Taylor, Carroll, Maris (Azeez, 85 mins), Deegan, Phillips (Corr, 73 mins), Brown (Lewis, 80 mins), Elito, Ikpeazu
Attendance: (2228) (273)