Sky Bet League Two round-up: Swindon bounce back, Harrogate shock the Dale and Ellison saves the day
Above: Enzio Boldewijn evades the Forest Green Rovers challenges for Sutton United (Photo taken by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)

A delayed kick-off wouldn't give either side more time to prepare for goals, as Carlisle and Colchester cancelled one another out.

It was a case of strong defences in Cumbria, with Carlisle the stronger of the two as Shamal George acted as the cat in goal, denying the Cumbrians a number of times and frustrating the home fans.

It was arguably Carlisle's Jon Mellish who had the chance of the game however, but the prolific midfielder could only direct his effort straight at George, with neither set of fans able to yet celebrate.

The last of the goalless draws in Sky Bet League Two, as two sides with aligned ambitions for the season were unable to break each other out.

It was the Bantams who came close to breaking the deadlock courtesy of Callum Cooke, but the midfielder's effort was heroically kept out by Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Cameron Dawson.

Both sides also had very similar chances which saw a player narrowly miss the ball from a few yards out, with Andy Cook and Nigel Atangana the unlucky two.

A non-league fixture as recent as 2017, it was a first victory for Rob Edwards' Forest Green against the 2020/21 National League champions, Sutton.

The Green Devils took the lead within the opening half an hour, as dangerous winger Nicky Cadden lifted the ball onto the head of Matty Stevens, who managed to bullet his header past Dean Bouzanis.

The league newcomers did equalise through former Forest Green striker Omar Bugiel, to clinch Sutton's first ever Football League goal. Some good movement from David Ajiboye helped set up Bugiel, as the heavy rain couldn't stop the striker from finding his first of the season.

But it was a disappointing way for Sutton to open up their Football League campaign, as Regan Hendry crossed a free-kick onto the head of Gambian international Ebou Adams, who poached the ball past Bouzanis to earn an opening day three points for Forest Green.

After a year of having no fans in the Football League, supporters finally witness league football at the CNG Stadium for the first time ever.

And it was a dream start for Simon Weaver's Harrogate, as new signings Luke Armstrong and Alex Pattison both found the back of the net in the opening ten minutes, granting the Sulphurites a two goal lead early on.

However, there's never an easy game in League Two, especially with a club like Rochdale who were looking to bounce straight back. Former Chorley attacker Alex Newby was first to start the fight back with an excellent finish, before Conor Grant linked up with Newby to complete the comeback early in the second half.

This dramatic game needed a dramatic finish however, and it got one. Mr. Harrogate Town himself, Warren Burrell, who has been with the club since 2016 and has now made over 250 appearances, was clinical from the edge of the box with a clever finish, side footing through a crowd of defenders to grant Harrogate a perfect start to the season.

Yet another late goal helped secure the three points, as National League play-off winners Hartlepool began their League Two journey with glory.

It was Gavan Holohan, who played a key part in the Poolies promotion last season, that managed to find the back of the net in the 88th minute. The Irish midfielder curled in from the edge of the box, leaving Glenn Morris little chance.

The final result was generous to Crawley in all honesty, with Holohan, Luke MolyneuxDavid Ferguson and Tyler Burey all having major chances come agonisingly close.

A composed last minute penalty from Mansfield helped assure that Bristol Rovers end of season form would carry into the new campaign.

The Gas were desperate to get back to winning ways after last season's relegation, but 42 minutes in Nigel Clough's Stags punished some sloppy defending, with Oli Hawkins rising highest to nod home Kellan Gordon's cross.

Bristol Rovers needed something special to respond, and up stepped young defender Cian Harries, to volley from 20-yards out which blistened the net and set the game alight.

However, club captain Paul Coutts completely switched the game on its head after an off the ball incident led to his red card, before Danny Johnson rifled home from the penalty spot in the 90th minute to elect the Stags with three points.

Another game which saw the away side be reduced to ten men, as Northampton returned to League Two with victory.

A goal line scramble heavily involving Nicke Kabamba and Benny Ashley-Seal was eventually turned in by the latter, as Northampton's early pressure was rewarded.

However, Port Vale's chances were neutralised as goalkeeper Lucas Covolan was sent off on his debut, dragging down Kabamba after leaving his box aimlessly.

An 88th minute strike from Kevin Ellison granted Newport their first opening day win since 2013.

Despite being 42 years of age and having to go through a trial process to see if he was still worthy of a contract, Ellison repaid his manager's faith with a late header to send the travelling Exiles into raptures. 

Carl Piergianni and Jacob Blyth came close to earning Oldham a point, but Joe Day was on hand to save the day.

Two sides with promotion ambitions saw two debutants score to share spoils in Salford.

The first of the goals came from former Shrewsbury Town defender Omar Beckles, who bundled home the rebound from captain Darren Pratley's initial effort. 

However, a shout for the Sky Bet League Two goal of the day was put forward by Matty Willock, brother of Joe and Chris, as the midfielder showed the talents of his two brothers to body feint past his man, before rifling an unstoppable effort into the top corner.

It's been a turbulent off-season for Swindon, but it was a fantastic way to start the campaign with a prolific victory over Scunthorpe.

Despite the Robins eventually taking the points, Scunthorpe did take the lead courtesy of a Ryan Loft penalty.

The goal seemed to wake up Ben Garner's side, as star man Jack Payne responded in a similar fashion to Loft, from the spot, before goals from Ben Gladwin and Harry Parsons confirmed the victory.

  • Stevenage 1-0 Barrow

Barrow fans finally had the chance to have their first away game since their promotion, as the Bluebirds made the journey to Stevenage.

However it wasn't a party for Barrow, with Stevenage there to do the business. Some clever link up play from new signings Jamie Reid and Jake Reeves saw the ball hammered into the roof of the net by Reeves, with the former Bradford City and AFC Wimbledon man using his experience to direct the ball home.

Mark Cooper's first competitive game in charge did end in defeat, but his side came close to an equaliser through Josh Kay and Patrick Brough.

  • Tranmere Rovers 1-0 Walsall

Two sides currently transitioning through rebuild jobs under new management, it was Micky Mellon's Tranmere who stole the points at Prenton Park.

The only goal of the game came from debutant Callum McManaman, as Liam Feeney and Chris Merrie interchanged play before laying it back to the former Wigan Athletic attacker, who calmly fired home.

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