GARY Bowyer played down the unruly scenes that followed City’s first defeat of the season.

Players from both sides rushed towards the tunnel immediately referee Andy Haines blew the whistle on Forest Green’s 1-0 win.

Joe Mills headed the only goal three minutes into the eight added on – before City saw a last-gasp “equaliser” by Kelvin Mellor ruled out for offside.

Forest Green’s Matt Mills was sent off for two yellow cards as Haines dished out 11 bookings.

Bowyer, who was one of the first to race off at the end, said: “I just think one or two wanted to swap shirts, nothing more than that.

“They were two very committed teams – one’s obviously delighted they got the victory and one was disappointed. There’s nothing to report on that.

“It was people just doing a bit of shouting, just passion.”

Forest Green boss Mark Cooper said: “It should have been about football today but it was about the referee’s performance. He ruined the game for both teams and caused nearly all the animosity.”

City started with the 4-3-3 formation they switched to at Stevenage with Sean Scannell on the bench.

Bowyer added: “Scanns played against Preston and then he played again on the Saturday and Tuesday.

“As I said the other week, we’ve got to keep nursing him through and building it with him.

“To ask him to have gone again might just have put him at a little bit of risk. We’re managing him.

“We felt how we were on Tuesday when Stevenage played three in midfield and we only had two to start with, it just caused us a little bit of problem to try and get a foothold.

“We stayed with that (formation) because it won us the game on Tuesday.”