FOREST Green Rovers boss Steve Cotterill said his side showed plenty of heart to claim a point from their 3-3 draw with Colchester United.

First-half goals from Matty Stevens and Christian Doidge had given League Two's bottom side a two-goal lead, at the JobServe Community Stadium.

However, three goals in five minutes from Alistair Smith, Jayden Fevrier and Harry Anderson saw Colchester overturn a two-goal deficit after the break, only for Dominic Thompson to equalise for the visitors soon after and ensure a share of the spoils.

Cotterill, who took over from Troy Deeney as Forest Green's boss last month, said: “It will feel like a defeat because we were 2-0 up but you have to carry on playing, which they did.

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“They showed unbelievable character.

“A team that are not fighting for their lives gets beat four or five today and they did not show that, so full credit to them to get back into the game.

“It was madness, just those five minutes in the second half and it just goes to prove how costly that can be.

“It’s understandable what happens to them and we took a backward step.

“I just said to them, what gets you in front keeps you in front and we took a little bit of a backward step and they came out with a bit of tempo.


“We needed to see that little period through and once the first goal goes in, it gives them a little bit of belief and the second goal gives them even more belief.

"But it was a big positive for the boys, because they played with huge heart and ran their socks off.

"It was always going to be a difficult game.

"They're on a little bit of an upward curve at this moment in time and had longer in that window to maybe address their issues."

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Forest Green were forced to make a first-half change when their skipper Jordan Moore-Taylor had to go off with a facial injury after being kicked in the face by Colchester striker Tom Hopper, an incident that led to the visitors being awarded a penalty which Matty Stevens scored for the game's opening goal.

"We lose a centre-back (Jordan Moore-Taylor) and that was sort of critical to me really," added former Burnley and Shrewsbury Town boss Cotterill.

"That sort of stopped a little bit of our opposition that we had and what we'd worked on in the week and it disrupted us a little bit.


"I thought Dom (Bernard) did very well when he went in there and having that natural left footer opens up the pitch a little bit more for you in possession, so when that one happened that was a bit of a body blow.

"We've had plenty of kicks in the teeth in today's game, Manny (Osadebe) staying on the pitch at the end there when perhaps he shouldn't but we'd run out of subs gambling, if you know what I mean.

"All in all, because of where we are it doesn't look like it's a positive point and it doesn't look positive when you think about being 2-0 up but I think what I'd rather take out of it is when we've gone 3-2 down, we've really shown heart and fight.

"If you don't and with the type of season that's happened so far for Forest Green, you get beat four or five here.

"If we can carry on with the same heart and the same fight and we can get a couple of back to backs, it'll look different and that point today might be really, really important."