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Ian Burchnall hails Forest Green resilience after dramatic win over Cambridge

Manager Ian Burchnall admitted he was a relieved man after Forest Green moved off the foot of the table with a dramatic 2-1 home win over Cambridge (Mike Egerton/PA)
Manager Ian Burchnall admitted he was a relieved man after Forest Green moved off the foot of the table with a dramatic 2-1 home win over Cambridge (Mike Egerton/PA)

Manager Ian Burchnall admitted he was a relieved man after Forest Green moved off the foot of the table with a dramatic 2-1 home win over Cambridge.

Burchnall revealed he could not watch as substitute Connor Wickham scored from the spot in the third minute of stoppage time after Myles Peart-Harris was fouled by United skipper Paul Digby.

He said: “I looked away when the penalty was being taken but if you need anyone to take one under that pressure, it’s Connor.

“My heart rate’s high and will be for the rest of the evening!

“It would’ve been a travesty if we hadn’t won. We were more deserving of the victory.

“We’ve talked about resilience but it was admirable the way the players bounced back.

“It’s one game. We can’t get carried away and we have to replicate it. It’s a big month for us but a good start to it. We now have to follow it up next week.”

Rovers defender Corey O’Keeffe picked up a second yellow card as United protested the decision.

Burchnall added: “Their player was scuffing up the penalty spot and Corey shoved him away but he was already on one card so shouldn’t have got involved. He has to be smarter.”

Striker Josh March kept his hot streak going in the 37th minute to give Rovers the lead.

Midfielder Dylan McGeouch whipped in a cross from the left flank and March darted between two defenders to claim his third goal in three games with a stooping header from six yards.

Cambridge thought they had grabbed a draw in the 89th minute when substitute Saikou Janneh scored his second goal in two games.

But Rovers goalkeeper Luke McGee still needed to acrobatically tip over a header from opposite number Will Mannion when the stopper came forward for a corner in the closing moments.

Cambridge manager Mark Bonner said: “That’s a tough one to take.

“The equaliser at the death was a brilliant goal but the pen so soon after – well there wasn’t much in it. The lads were adamant it wasn’t one.

“Things didn’t go for us that could’ve done. There’s nothing we can do about it now but it cost us a valuable point and a deserved one.

“If we’d have taken a point we’d have been delighted, unfortunately it’s another defeat for us.

“We’re in a difficult moment but we’ve got to be up for the fight. The lads have got to stick with it. There are a group of players in there that are hurting at the moment.

“We were a bit too slow in our build up in the second half and we’ve been too slow and pensive in our attacking play at times but we’ve got the basis of a good side. We’ve got to turn it into results.”