Mark Cooper celebrated his 300th managerial win and joked captain Chris Stokes will need a hip replacement after his first goal of the season helped Forest Green underpin their automatic promotion hopes.
Goals from Stokes and Kane Wilson saw in-form Rovers defeat Harrogate 2-1 to remain third in the table, just a point behind leaders Cheltenham and level with Cambridge, who they travel to next Saturday.
A delighted Cooper said: “Stokesy will need a hip replacement after that great finish – he was great today and it was a worldie from Kane Wilson.
“Our game plan was to let them have the ball and then counter-attack them – we chose to be compact.
“That’s seven (points) out of nine and I’ll take that for every game now until the end of the season.”
Cooper insisted his side deserved a first-half penalty when Dom Bernard appeared to be tripped.
He also felt Elliott Whitehouse’s dismissal in second-half stoppage time, after the midfielder was shown a second yellow card for dissent, was avoidable.
“The referee admitted we should have had a penalty afterward, when Dom Bernard was brought down,” he said.
“The referee could have managed the sending off better, it just needed a quiet word.”
Cooper was happy to reach his 300th managerial win and commented on his on-going longevity as one of English professional football’s longest-serving bosses.
He said: “If I achieve nothing else then it will be nice to look back on. I just need to see off Jurgen Klopp and John Coleman now!”
Rovers took the lead after 22 minutes when Stokes drilled home through a crowded goalmouth after Josh Davison’s flick from Nicky Cadden’s free-kick had fallen to the captain.
Wilson made it 2-0 in the 50 minute when he capped a scintillating move by drilling his show across James Belshaw and into the bottom corner of the net.
Substitute Odin Bailey should have made it 3-0 with 22 minutes left and Rovers were left with an uncomfortable finale after Jay Williams pulled a goal back in stoppage time for Harrogate before Whitehouse was sent off.
Harrogate boss Simon Weaver felt his side were not at their recent levels that have seen them charge up the table.
He said: “I was very disappointed at half-time because we didn’t turn up with our usual energy and vigour.
“For the first 35 minutes we were well short in all areas of the pitch, but I thought there was a reaction after the second goal. That’s a positive, but we didn’t do enough in a game that was winnable.
“Overall, it was a disappointing day. There was a positive impact from the subs and I’m pleased for Jay Williams because he works hard and stays after training to improve himself, but we still came away with nothing.
“We don’t want to be happy with mid-table, we want to push on.”