Exeter City were unable to seal a place in this season’s Sky Bet League Two play-offs despite a 0-0 draw with Forest Green Rovers.
Despite Newport County only being able to collect a point at Morecambe, the Grecians just needed that all-important goal but it didn’t arrive despite a number of chances throughout the match.
Manager Matt Taylor made one change to the side that started the win over Oldham Athletic last time out with Nicky Law missing out through injury and he was therefore replaced by Hiram Boateng in the City midfield.
Ryan Bowman had City’s first attempt on nine minutes when a deep ball in from Craig Woodman found the striker before he chested well and fired at James Montgomery in the Rovers goal.
The Grecians worked a wonderful opening on 25 minutes when Bowman did well to turn and get in behind the Forest Green defence before crossing for Lee Holmes, but his left footed effort went just over from inside the box.
Bowman was back in the thick of it just moments later as the home side conceded possession on the edge of their own area, and with Montgomery out of his goal, the forward’s effort edged just wide of goal.
As City continued to press to go ahead Lee Martin whipped in a fantastic cross on the half hour mark, and despite Bowman connecting well, he crashed an effort against the post.
Boateng would have another chance for the Grecians on the cusp of half-time when Martin again crossed from the left, and despite connecting well, his volley edged just wide as the sides went into the break level.
It was much of the same just a few minutes after the break as Pierce Sweeney fed Holmes, who then laid it off to Lee Martin, but he was unable to keep his effort down.
Udoka Godwin-Malife was the first Rovers player to worry Christy Pym when he received the ball on the edge of the City box on 57 minutes, but his low effort nestled wide of goal.
The home side then worked a good opening 20 minutes from time when some well-worked play enabled Nathan McGinley to get in down the left before his low shot found Shawn McCoulsky, but his effort went wide of goal.
Boateng then created another chance for City as he darted down the left before causing havoc with a dangerous cross. Despite Montgomery punching he was unable to get a clean connection before Holmes’ shot was blocked leaving the Rovers keeper to jump on the ball.
As the game went into injury time the Grecians continued to press to find the all-important goal with other results going their way. A Montgomery spill after coming for a cross almost gave the Grecians the chance to fire in but the keeper managed to atone for his error as it was confirmed that City would remain in Sky Bet League Two.
Forest Green Rovers: Montgomery, James, Collins, Grub, Gunning, Pearce, McGinley, Digby, McCoulsky, Godwin-Malife (Shephard, 86), Mondal (Reid, 71)
Subs not used: Ward, Winchester, Doidge, Brown, Mills
Exeter City: Pym, Sweeney, Woodman (K. Wilson 62), O’Shea, L. Martin (Forte, 87), Holmes, Bowman, Moxey, Taylor, Collins (D. Wilson, 69), Boateng
Subs not used: Hamon, A. Martin, Williams, Jay
Booked: L. Martin, Collins, Woodman, Sweeney
Attendance: 4,537 (Inc, 1,223, away)