Forest Green manager Mark Cooper was delighted with the way his team enjoyed long spells of possession and held out in the final 20 minutes for a 0-0 draw against Carlisle.
Nathan Thomas almost had a goal of the season effort for Carlisle midway through the first half when his 50-yard run and shot were thwarted by Lewis Thomas in the Forest Green goal.
On-loan Celtic forward Jack Aitchison went closest for Rovers but twice was denied by good saves from Adam Collin.
Rovers had James Morton sent off with 20 minutes left to play following a late challenge on Carlisle substitute Hallam Hope.
It was Morton’s second yellow although referee Michael Salisbury initially appeared to forget he had already carded the same player in the first half.
Cooper said: “I thought we were brilliant and totally dominated the game. We saw it out comfortably and really the only thing missing was getting that goal.”
The Rovers manager added: “Some of the football was terrific. I was really pleased with the way in which we dominated against a good team.”
Cooper added: “It was a great point for us. We just have to go on and win on Saturday now.”
The referee’s performance had both managers laughing afterwards.
Cooper admitted: “I have witnessed some things in my long time in football. I think both sets of fans, players and staff were astounded. The best way I can describe it is he didn’t seem to know which day of the week it was.
Carlisle manager Steven Pressley was shown a yellow card for a touchline spat and added: “The referee was poor and made a lot of wrong decisions.”
Pressley added: “It was a really good tactical battle. Both sides played good football and 0-0 was the right result. There were few chances in the game.”
Pressley added: “We did not capitalise in those last 18 minutes. But it was a really good organised performance and the clean sheet was pleasing. I want us to play attacking football, but that performance will give our defenders confidence.
“We created some really good moments on the counter-attack. It was a strong performance from us in terms of work ethic and organisation. I thought we took a step forward tonight.
“We have lost just one in the last five. That’s consistency but we need more of it. I want to keep progressing and not feel satisfied. It will take time, but I was pleased with the application from the group.”