Forest Green head coach Mark Cooper hailed Birmingham loanee Odin Bailey as his performance in Tuesday night’s 2-1 Sky Bet League Two victory over Leyton Orient helped Rovers move to third.
Bailey opened the scoring in the first half with a sumptuous strike before Josh Wright equalised just before the break.
Forest Green substitute Matty Stevens won it for Cooper’s side as he turned in Bailey’s corner with eight minutes to go, leaving the Rovers’ chief purring.
Cooper said: “Odin did great. He has outstanding ability and is going to go on and be a really good player – but full credit to the whole of the team.
“I was pleased for the players and I thought they showed tremendous application. We got our noses in front, but conceded a rubbish goal, but I thought we did really well after the break and thoroughly deserved the victory.
“I was pleased to see Matty Stevens come on and grab the winner and I thought Jordan Moore-Taylor was magnificent at the back and when he moved to centre-back as well – against an Orient side, who have some excellent attacking players.
“I’m glad we bounced back quickly after the Cheltenham defeat and we can now look forward to a free hit in the FA Cup against Lincoln City on Saturday.”
Orient boss Ross Embleton bemoaned his side’s inability at set-pieces.
He said: “Ultimately we conceded two goals from set-pieces against a top team which is frustrating.
“When you come here you know you’re in for a tough game.
“They are a very good side and with the budget and players they’ve got you’d expect them to be at the top end of the league like they were last season before they fell away.
“We could’ve equalised at the end when we broke away and if we’d scored, I don’t think anyone would have denied we deserved a draw.”