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Forest Green leave it late to beat Bristol Rovers in battle of promoted clubs

Regan Hendry scored a late winner (Bradley Collyer/PA)
Regan Hendry scored a late winner (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Regan Hendry scored a late winner as Forest Green marked their maiden League One game with a memorable 2-1 win at Bristol Rovers.

The Scottish midfielder curled in an 89th-minute winner from the edge of the penalty area to give last season’s League Two champions victory over their newly-promoted West Country rivals at the Memorial Ground.

Hendry’s heroics not only secured his side a victory but also gave new manager Ian Burchnall a successful start to life with the Gloucestershire club.

Until he intervened, it looked as though the local bragging rights would be shared.

The visitors had taken the lead through defender Jordan Moore-Taylor as he headed in a perfectly-flighted 55th-minute corner by Hendry.

Former Forest Green striker Aaron Collins showed his old club what they are missing with a trademark finish, coolly slotting home in the 71st minute after being teed up by substitute Harvey Saunders to make it 1-1.

But Hendry had the final say to give his side a winning start to life in the third tier.