SKRILL PREMIER: Forest Green 8 Hyde 0
MARCUS Kelly quickly became the New Lawn darling after his stunning opening day debut hat-trick helped title favourites Forest Green crush toothless Hyde for eight.
Midfielder Kelly, who signed a one-year deal at the New Lawn from Tamworth following a trial during pre-season.
He said: "I scored a hat-trick for my former club Tamworth in the FA Trophy last season but to score one on my debut is pretty special."
Earlier Josh Brizell's first half red card for a lunge on Al Bangura turned the tide in David Hockaday's side favour after a stuttering start for the Nailsworth outfit. Kelly fired in the opener his first with a sublime angled drive.
He made it two when lashing home his second minutes later.
The goal tide continued. Danny Wright bagged a debut goal with a clinical finish from a Kelly assist. James Norwood completed the first half goal glut when he headed in a fourth goal after Chris Stokes had helped the ball towards him from a corner.
Sub Yan Klukowski almost helped himself to a goal with his very first touch, but his strike was blocked, but the ball fell diminutive Matty Taylor , who rifled home.
Matthew Barnes-Homer stepped off the bench to fizz in a sixth on his debut and Taylor grabbed his second and Rovers' seventh as he headed in a Jared Hodgkiss cross.
Kelly banked his hat-trick as he touched home Barnes-Homer's ball across the box.
Forest Green's win is the best Conference scoreline since Luton Town beat Hayes & Yeading 8-0 three years ago. Curiously, Pilkington, Asafu-Adjaye and Barnes-Homer all played for Luton Town in that 8-0 victory too.
Last season Mansfield Town beat Barrow 8-1 and Hyde beat Woking 7-0.
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