Jon Main rediscovered his goalscoring touch as Wimbledon, hitting five goals in a Blue Square Premier fixture for the first time, won a thrilling encounter at The New Lawn.
Main vindicated Terry Brown's decision to return him to the starting line-up by netting a goal in both halves, mirroring his strike-partner Danny Kedwell who continued his sensational form by netting his eleventh and twelfth goals of the season.
But despite the duo's heroics, the true catalyst for this result was Lewis Taylor who, having headed Wimbledon in front just 37 seconds into the game, gave arguably his best performance for the Dons since re-signing last year.
Taylor started in the centre of a midfield four with Derek Duncan, coming in for Kennedy Adjei, on the left-side and Luke Moore on the right. Main replaced Ross Montague in the starting eleven, whilst Paul Lorraine's return in place of Alan Inns was the third and final change from the side that kicked-off against Kidderminster last weekend.
Lorraine was returning after illness had ruled him out of the last two fixtures, but his inclusion didn't go according to plan despite the Dons' dream start. Still looking under the weather, Lorraine's shakiness seemed to spread to his team-mates who were exploited after seven minutes by Rovers' top scorer Sean Rigg, who escaped the attention of both centre-halves to touch home a Tony Smith cross past a flat-footed James Pullen.
The hosts' expansive game was creating problems for the Dons but their approach left them vulnerable. Main took advantage of a high Rovers' line after eleven minutes, latching on to a perfectly-weighted Taylor pass and confidently firing home past Terry Burton in the Forest Green goal. It was Main's first goal in open play this season and his joyous celebration was matched only by his manager on the touchline.
However the goal did not knock Forest Green out of their stride. Smith's trickery and quality of delivery, allied with Rigg's movement, was a real cause for concern and in the seventeenth minute, panicky defending led to a Forest Green corner that resulted in their second equaliser. Slack marking allowed Tomi Ameobi a free header that forced Pullen into a stunning point-blank save, but his fingers could only push the ball onto the bar and David Brown reacted quicker than anyone else to nod the rebound home from two yards.
Lorraine's return ended minutes later. Looking far from 100 per cent, he apologised to the travelling supporters as he took his seat on the bench, but his mood would have improved just seconds later; his replacement Inns' first touch set up Kedwell to rifle the Dons back ahead with a sweet strike.
The home side continued to push on but with Inns a commanding presence, the Dons looked much more solid and with Moore continuing to find space on the right to deliver some real quality into the box, Wimbledon looked the more likely side to score. However they had to wait until just before the hour mark to do so, with Taylor once again at the heart of it. His desire to keep the ball in play - and refuse to go down despite being fouled in the penalty area - allowed Sam Hatton to tee up Kedwell to bullet his header past a motionless Burton in the fifty-eighth minute.
It proved to be the killer goal for the Dons who controlled proceedings for the last half-hour. Main bagged his second ten minutes from time by cooling slotting home Taylor's pull-back, and was then denied the match-ball in the closing stages when Burton pushed his cheeky chip onto the crossbar.
Rovers boss David Hockaday suggested afterwards that his side were not quite ready to play such an expansive game but, accompanied by the Dons' own open, attractive, passing style, it made for a great spectacle that erased all memory of last week's dour defeat in the minds of the near 800 Wombles that made the trip to the Cotswolds.
The result and performance will also boost confidence ahead of next week's top-six clash with Kettering who, as visitors to Rockingham Road earlier in the season can testify, will pose a totally different threat than Forest Green's admirable approach.