It was a night of frustration for the U's on Tuesday night, as Forest Green Rovers took the points with an efficient show of finishing.
The U's had seen the majority of the ball and of the possession and had a prolonged stint around the Rovers box in the second half, but were unable to turn their ownership of the ball into goals.
In contrast, Rovers caught the U's twice on the break in the first half and added a third at the end of that spell of possession to secure all three points.
Clear cut chances were at a premium in the early stages, and it was the U’s who had the first sight of goal on 17 minutes as Senior drove into the box. It came back to Stevenson, and he drove it over the bar.
The U’s midfielder went closer three minutes later, as he picked up the ball 25 yards out and drove in a fizzing shot that went just inches wide.
And it was the visitors that took the lead moments later as they got behind the U’s back line and it was crossed for Shephard to drive home a low effort inside the post and past Gilmartin.
The U’s responded well to going behind, with both Nouble and Szmodics forcing Ward to parry the ball away from the Rovers goal, but they fell further behind twelve minutes before half time.
They created a good move to get down the right hand side and it was a tidy finish from Brown to make it 2-0.
The U’s again went on to dominate possession in the remainder of the half, although Mills went close with a deflected free kick just before the interval.
At the other end, Vincent-Young had a shot blocked as the U’s went into the break two behind.
There looked like there might be an early chance for U’s when Norris picked up the ball from a defensive slip, but couldn’t contrive an angle to get a shot away.
The U’s made an early change as Dickenson came on, just before the hour mark, in place of Mandron.
The home side quickly had more attacking play as first Nouble and then Senior had low crosses cleared from danger with Norris lingering.
They kept pressing and first Norris had a shot blocked behind before Dickenson dragged his own finish well off target.
Szmodics had a half volley well blocked by the Rovers defence, then Stevenson had the best chance of the night, as Ward pulled off an excellent save to deny the midfielder.
The U’s made their second change with twelve minutes to go, as Eisa replaced Stevenson, but the visitors soon got three ahead.
A miscued shot fell into the path of Doidge and he took a touch before slotting home.
Then it went from bad to worse for the U’s, as Nouble saw red for a second yellow that left most in the ground bemused.
The visitors saw out the remainder of the match without too much concern, and it was the West Country side that took the points.