Cheltenham Town lost their second successive Checkatrade Trophy game as Gloucestershire rivals Forest Green Rovers emerged victorious at Whaddon Road.
Freddie Hinds fired the hosts ahead shortly after the interval but two late goals from Reece Brown and Jordan Stevens sealed a morale boosting victory for Mark Cooper’s side.
Here are five things we learned from the first “El Glosico” meeting of the season.
Trevor Kettle wasn’t afraid to get his cards out when the match reached boiling point
Referee Trevor Kettle dished out five cards in a feisty encounter at the LCI Rail Stadium, including a straight red for Cheltenham striker Danny Wright.
FGR goal scorer Brown was the only recipient of a booking for the visitors while Matt Bower, Alex Davey and Jordan Cranston were all shown yellow cards for Cheltenham.
This fixture may only be a recently rekindled rivalry but tempers were running high and former Forest Green front man Wright was dismissed when he appeared to stamp on Reece Brown in the 83rd minute, leaving Gary Johnson’s team a man down and a goal down in the closing stages.
— Joe Bourne (@Joeurnalism) October 3, 2017
The 33-year-old was given a three match ban for a similar incident against Grimsby Town during their National League meeting live on BT Sport in April 2016.
If he is found guilty again, manager Gary Johnson confirmed that Wright could face a hefty club fine.
Old habits die hard for Cheltenham Town defensively
Despite the fact that Forest Green edged the game in terms of chances, Cheltenham Town were relatively comfortable up until the 79th minute.
Robins goalkeeper Jon Flatt made several fine saves in the first half to deny Christian Doidge, Charlie Cooper and Luke James as the score remained 0-0 at half time.
The Wolves loanee then turned another Doidge effort around the post when his side led 1-0, before Reece Brown found the bottom corner to equalise with 11 minutes remaining.
But just as they did against West Ham United and Exeter City earlier on in the season, Cheltenham conceded two goals in two minutes once more as Forest Green completely turned the game on its head.
Flatt was at fault as he tried to save a Jordan Stevens effort with his legs but completely made a hash of it, and unfortunately all of his hard work in the first half will be forgotten in the minds of many home supporters after that error.
Concern will also be expressed by how FGR scored two goals so quickly, even when there were six CTFC defenders on the pitch at the time.
The real “El Glosico” is set to kick off in November
There was an unusually large crowd for a Checkatrade Trophy game at Whaddon Road due to the fact that Forest Green were the visitors for the first time since their National League encounter in November 2015.
Around double the figure that attended the first competition fixture against Swansea City U23’s in August watched on in one of the highest attendances the competition has seen in the group phase since its controversial rebranding from the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
1,576 fans were in the stadium and those that chose not to boycott were also able to witness a mini-preview to what can be expected when the two sides meet in League Two in November.
— Jim Musto new (@musto_jim) October 3, 2017
Constant banter and chanting between both home and away supporters is a rarity in this competition, but a boisterous atmosphere could be heard throughout as Cheltenham and Forest Green fans geared up for what is sure to be another noisy encounter at The New Lawn next month.
Freddie Hinds loves a goal from long range
On loan Bristol City striker Freddie Hinds was given his first start for Cheltenham Town after six substitute appearances in League Two.
The 18-year-old marked it with a well taken strike that swerved over Forest Green keeper Sam Russell, adding to the two stunners he scored for Bristol City against Watford and Plymouth Argyle in the Carabao Cup before moving up the M5.
Fellow City loan pair Joe Morrell and Taylor Moore have shone since joining Cheltenham, establishing themselves as first team regulars.
Now that Hinds is off the mark, he too will hope to make an impression on the starting 11 if the opportunity should present itself in the future.
Cheltenham will make wholesale changes ahead of another home derby this Saturday
Gary Johnson made a total of eight changes for the cup tie, in comparison to Forest Green’s two.
While the victory will give Mark Cooper and his team a huge confidence boost, they still remain bottom of the Football League with just five points and without a league triumph since beating Yeovil Town 4-3 in August.
The Green Devils also face the daunting task of a trip to leaders Notts County this weekend, while Cheltenham will look to get back on track and build on their good league form versus Swindon Town.
In the battle between ‘The Robins’ Johnson is likely to bring back a number of first team regulars from the start such as Scott Flinders, Harry Pell, Mohamed Eisa, Brian Graham, Carl Winchester, Jamie Grimes and Joe Morrell (providing he returns from international duty unscathed).
Cheltenham are unbeaten in four League Two matches, a run that has carried them up to 13th in the table.
If they continue their fine home form against Swindon by getting three points, then this defeat will soon be forgotten come 5pm on Saturday afternoon.