A goalkeeping masterclass by Walsall’s Liam Roberts denied Forest Green victory in a pulsating draw.
Walsall went ahead after 14 minutes through their first meaningful attack as Bristol City loanee George Nurse arrowed over a cross for Caolan Lavery to nod beyond the exposed Luke McGee.
Rovers bossed possession but squandered a plethora of first-half opportunities – Aaron Collins inducing a save from Roberts and Jamille Matt scuffing wide with only the keeper to beat.
Matt had a penalty appeal turned down when falling in the box under the challenge of Hayden White as he prepared to meet an inviting Nicky Cadden cross.
Ebou Adams spurned a golden opportunity to draw parity just five minutes after the resumption but he inexplicably fizzed wide with only Roberts to beat.
Roberts kept Walsall’s lead intact when superbly touching over Collins’ howitzer from the edge of the box.
But Rovers drew level after 61 minutes, with Collins picking out Matt for a cool close-range finish.
Matt was denied a second with 15 minutes to go as Roberts scooped the ball off the line and he again saved the day again for the Saddlers, clawing away another powerful Collins effort.
Match report supplied by PA Media
- 6KitchingBooked at 75mins
- 25RichardsonSubstituted forWagstaffat 53′minutes
- 5J Clarke
- 3JulesBooked at 77mins
- 7SinclairSubstituted forAdebayoat 60′minutes
- 21NurseSubstituted forBatesat 45′minutes
- 22HoldenBooked at 36mins
- 9LaverySubstituted forMcDonaldat 59′minutes
- Antony Coggins
Match ends, Forest Green Rovers 1, Walsall 1.
Second Half ends, Forest Green Rovers 1, Walsall 1.
Attempt blocked. Aaron Collins (Forest Green Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Udoka Godwin-Malife (Forest Green Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Wesley McDonald (Walsall).
Attempt missed. Dan Sweeney (Forest Green Rovers) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Nicky Cadden with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Forest Green Rovers. Conceded by Hayden White.
Attempt missed. Jamille Matt (Forest Green Rovers) header from very close range misses to the right. Assisted by Nicky Cadden.
Attempt missed. Nicky Cadden (Forest Green Rovers) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Scott Wagstaff with a cross.
Attempt blocked. Elijah Adebayo (Walsall) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Wesley McDonald.
Foul by Nicky Cadden (Forest Green Rovers).
Josh Gordon (Walsall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Aaron Collins (Forest Green Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Liam Kitching.
Foul by Ebou Adams (Forest Green Rovers).
Alfie Bates (Walsall) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Zak Jules (Walsall) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Scott Wagstaff (Forest Green Rovers) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Zak Jules (Walsall).
Liam Kitching (Forest Green Rovers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Liam Kitching (Forest Green Rovers).