Forest Green Rovers began their first ever League One campaign with a late 2-1 win away to Bristol Rovers.
New Rovers Head Coach Ian Burchnall named his first competitive FGR side at The Mem, as four of our summer recruits went straight into the XI.
After a slow start it was the travelling Rovers who had the first troubling chance on 18 minutes as Bailly Cargill beat the offside trap to meet a Ben Stevenson free-kick and bullet a header goalward.
It was a well-executed set piece, but Gas keeper James Belshaw was equal to it and did extremely well to tip the effort over the bar.
Just past the hour mark and Luke McGee was called into proper action for the first time as he was level to a ferocious Harry Anderson strike, which the keeper held well.
The end of the half proved to be a busy one for Belshaw as he did well to prevent Kyle McAllister on two occasions either side of a thunderous Reece Brown volley, which the keeper saved well.
Skipper Jamille Matt had the best chance of the opening 45 just three minutes before half-time, as his reversed low shot crashed agonisingly off the inside of the post and away from goal.
Like the first, the second half saw a slow start but 10 minutes in a Regan Hendry corner from the far side produced Rovers’ first goal of the season and first goal ever in the third tier.
Rising the highest was Jordan Moore-Taylor who steered his header pas the full stretched Belshaw to put Rovers one to the good.
And it was nearly two just moments later as McAllister surged forward before letting fly from range with his strike missing just wide of the far post.
The Scotsman had an even better chance just past the hour mark as David Davis did superbly to bring the ball down and set McAllister whose effort was blocked at the last second.
Two great chances then came the way of the hosts which they couldn’t take advantage of before Corey O’Keeffe had the ball in the net, only to be denied by a tight offside call.
And that would prove costly as the Gas drew level 20 minutes from time as Collins found the space in the box to fire low into the back of the net.
Rovers made two changes in the last 10 minutes as Brown and O’Keeffe were replaced by Josh March and new signing Oliver Casey for the closing stages.
As the game looked to be heading for a draw as it was back in April, Rovers restored their lead and did so in quite some style.
With just a minute of normal time remaining Hendry did brilliantly to work the ball wide to McAllister before receiving the ball back and curling a beautiful effort into the far top corner.
The new number eight’s stunner proved to be the match winner as FGR played out the seven additional minutes to win a first ever League One game.