Skipper for the day Jon Parkin gave Forest Green a winning start to the new Vanarama National League campaign at Altrincham.
Ady Pennock’s first starting XI of the season included two competitive debutants in goalkeeper Jonny Maxted and striker Aaron O’Connor, with fellow new boys Keanu Marsh-Brown and Delano Sam-Yorke on the bench.
Midfielder Rob Sinclair was passed fit after a groin injury but Darren Jones failed to recover from a calf problem, meaning a start for club captain David Pipe at right-back and a central defensive role for Dale Bennett.
The visitors made a bright start, Elliott Frear’s deflected volley fizzing narrowly wide inside the opening two minutes.
But there was cause for alarm four minutes later when Altrincham winger Jordan Sinnott embarked on a mazy run and saw his shot cannon off team-mate Damian Reeves, dribbling just past the near post.
The contest was disjointed in the second period, Forest Green threatening first when Marcus Kelly’s deep corner landed at the feet of O’Connor for a wildly inaccurate shot.
Rovers forced a succession of corners midway through the half, and Kurtis Guthrie was disappointed not to hit the target after soaring to meet Sinclair’s inswinging delivery.
The breakthrough came six minutes later, and this time it was Frear’s corner that located Parkin in enough space to plant the ball past a helpless Coburn with his forehead.
Wedgbury saw an ambitious volley go over as Pennock’s men strove to add to their advantage but five minutes of stoppage time were seen out with few alarms.
See Monday’s Pink Un for Peter Orchard’s match overview and match reaction.
Forest Green: J. Maxted; D. Pipe, D. Bennett, A. Racine, M. Kelly; K. Guthrie, R. Sinclair, S. Wedgbury, E. Frear (K. Marsh-Brown 85); J. Parkin, A. O’Connor (D. Sam-Yorke 81); Subs not used: J. Jennings, C. Kamdjo, P. White.