THE self-proclaimed little club on the hill started life in the  EFL Football League Two with a dogged point.

In truth, Mark Cooper’s side should have been celebrating a dream League Two winning start as two first-half Christian Doidge goals handed his side a 2-0 lead at the break.

Cooper has promised the season will be a rollercoaster at times and his side imploded after the break - Barnet responding through Jean Louis Akpo-Akpro and veteran Jamal Campbell-Ryce.

The eyes of the sporting world converged on Rovers for their historic day and the first-half display looked as if Cooper's side had taken to the new league like a duck to water, but how things changed after the break.

Earlier, Cooper handed debuts to five summer signings - Bradley Collins, Lee Collins, Scott Laird, Callum Evans and Reece Brown. Barnet included Forest Green fan Jamie Stephens in goal and former Forest Green captain Charlie Clough, but were missing ace marksman Jon Akinde.

Rovers were almost stung in the opening exchanges - new keeper Brad Collins, on a season-long loan from Chelsea, spilling a low ball in the box.

However, Cooper’s team quickly found their feet – Drissa Traore pulling the midfield strings and they kept turning the screw - Doidge and Traore seeing shots blocked.

Barnet remained a threat – Mauro Vihete fizzing over from 25 yards and then Akpo-Akpro rising above Lee Collins to thump his header over from a Campbell-Rice cross to the back post.

The move of the match arrived on 34 minutes - almost seeing Rovers get their noses in front. A flurry of neat one-touch passing finished with Charlie Cooper arriving in the box, his fizzer flashed wide of the post with just Stephens to beat.

Rovers were getting warmer. Liam Noble releasing Evans who fired across the inviting box.

The goal Rovers had been craving arrived with four minutes of the first-half to go. Doidge won a free-kick after an aerial dual with Clough. Assistant manager Scott Lindsey spotted a blood injury for Clough, who wanted to play on, but Lindsey’s vocal protests were noted and Clough was forced to receive off-pitch treatment for his cut - his absence at the back proved pivotal.

Firstly Laird’s free-kick was cleared for a corner and from the subsequent Cooper corner, Doidge nodded in Rovers’ first Football League goal. Barnet were stung - and just two minutes later that man Doidge lifted the ball over the advancing Stephens from a Noble long ball after an all-at-sea Clough missed his header.

Clough’s miserable return to his former club ended at half-time and his place was taken by Michael Nelson.

Barnet had to go for it and Shaquile Coulthrist should have done better when he got behind the Rovers’ defence.

The game changed as  Barnet struck twice in five minutes. They were back in the game on 58 minutes through Akpo-Akpro, who nodded in after the ball looped off the advancing Brad Collins from Campbell-Ryce’s earlier shot.

Five minutes later and Campbell-Ryce’s skidder from the edge of the box went in off the post to level things up.

Cooper had seen enough and ushered former Barnet man Keanu Marsh-Brown on with twenty-two minutes to go.

Barnet remained on the front-foot and Jack Taylor should have capped the comeback, but he somehow planted his free header wide from a Coulthirst cross.

Barnet's Taylor was given a red in the fourth-minute of injury time for a lunge on Cooper.

Forest Green: B Collins 6; L Collins 7, Monthe 6, Bennett 7; Laird 6, Traore 8 (Bugiel 78, 6), Cooper 7, Noble 7, Evans 7 (Marsh-Brown 68, 6); Brown 6 (Mullings 59, 6); Doidge 8.

Subs not used: Russell, Fitzwater, Wishart, James.

Attendance: 3,171

Away: 501

Star Man: Christian Doidge