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Opening day defeat for Forest Green

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League Two

Forest Green 0 Salford City 2

Forest Green were beaten at home by Salford City on the opening day of the League Two season as second half goals from Conor McAleny and former Leeds striker Matt Smith handed new head coach David Horseman his first defeat in charge of the Nailsworth club.

Horseman was beginning his professional managerial career after leaving Southampton’s academy and handed starts to four debutants, but the newly relegated side were undone in the 51st minute when McAleny got on the end of Stevie Mallan’s corner to give Salford the lead.

In the fifth minute of stoppage-time the victory was secured as Smith headed home Luke Bolton’s cross, sending Neil Wood’s side back to Greater Manchester with their first win of the new season.

There were positives for Rovers throughout, with returning striker Matty Stevens going close in the first half with a header that hit the bar before bouncing on to the line, and Kyle McAllister forced new Salford captain Luke Cairns into a save at full stretch from 25 yards out.

Stevens’ strike partner Matty Taylor made his debut from the bench and was unlucky to see his curling effort skim the roof of the net with 15 minutes to go.

Luke Daniels, Ryan Inniss, Teddy Jenks and Callum Jones were all handed their debuts in Horseman’s first starting eleven as head coach and Stevens, who has returned from a season-long loan at Walsall, was given the nod up front ahead of another new signing Taylor, who got the chance to make his first appearance in the 67th minute.

Reece Brown and Jordon Garrick had missed out on the matchday squad due to injury and there was no place for Marcel Lavinier, who only completed his move from Swindon Town on Thursday evening.

Forest Green’s next game is in the EFL Cup first round at home to Portsmouth on Tuesday evening, before a trip to Harrogate in the league next weekend.

1 Luke Daniels

3 Dom Bernard (c)

5 Ryan Inniss

15 Jordan Moore-Taylor

17 Jamie Robson

7 Kyle McAllister

28 Callum Jones

8 Charlie McCann

6 Teddy Jenks

23 Tyrese Omotoye

9 Matthew Stevens

27 Harvey Bunker (replaced McCann on 67 minutes)

16 Dylan Kadji (replaced Jenks on 67 minutes)

10 Matty Taylor (replaced Omotoye on 67 minutes)

19 Sean Robertson (replaced Jones on 87 minutes)

20 Jamie Searle (unused substitute)

4 Darnell Johnson (unused substitute)

34 Zachariah McKenzie (unused substitute)

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