Forest Green head coach Mark Cooper threatened to run the gauntlet naked after his Covid 19 ravaged side kept their pecker up with back-to-back victories to underpin their unbeaten start to the season.

Rovers were dealt a pre-match blow when an unnamed player was diagnosed with corona virus and three other players were forced to self-isolate.

Rookie teenage striker Jake Young grabbed his first goal in the Football League with a sumptuous strike on 23 minutes in a game devoid of chances.

Bereft of four frontline starters, Cooper joked before the game that he would run around Forest Green devoid of his club apparel if they could pull off a win.

“He said: “I’m definitely not. It would put a few people of their dinner, that’s for certain.”

The positive case meant that Cooper had to make tweaks to his squad, and he said: “It was late in the week so we had no preparation really.

“We had a training session yesterday evening as we were waiting for test results and we’ve thrown a team together.”

Despite the last-minute changes to his squad, Cooper believed that his players did remarkably well given the unfortunate circumstances.

“I’ve got to say though that the boys that played were incredible,” he said.

“They waited for their chance and there were some fantastic performances. We had to change the way we play today and we make no apologies for that, we just had to win the game.”

Cooper lauded the impact of Young after his match-winning goal.

He said: “That’s exactly what he does and that’s why we played him - he does that every day in training.

“He’s got bits that he needs to polish up and we’ve got to get him to work a little bit more when he hasn’t got the ball but he can do that for fun.”

Stevenage boss Alex Revell lamented his side’s first-half showing, he said: “It was a negative goal as it was avoidable, but we have to do more to score goals “We gave the ball away too much in the first-half and then we got more of the ball and they barely got in our half. The second-half was better and we got people on the ball who can cause damage. We had chances and a lot of attacking play, but without an end punch.

“I can’t remember Forest Green having a clear-cut chance apart from the post in the second-half. We deserved something from the second-half, but not the first.”

Young’s howitzer maintained Forest Green’s eye-catching start to the season.

The former Sheffield United teenager scored his first senior goal in league football as he arrowed in a 23rd minute strike beyond Jamie Cumming after Aaron Collins threaded him through.

Collins should have made it 2-0 to Forest Green on 30 minutes when he smashed the post from close in after Jamille Matt had chased down a lost cause.

Stevenage offered little in a tepid first-half – Arthur Read fizzing over from distance.

The second period was a war of attrition – Cumming doing well to gather a deflected Udoka Godwin-Malife strike.

Collins hit the post for the second time from a Josh March cross with 10 minutes to go.

Stevenage missed a late opportunity with Ross Marshall failing to get on the end of a loose ball in the box.

Forest Green XI: McGee, Stokes (c), Kitching, Adams, Collins, Matt, Young (March 74’), Whitehouse, Wagstaff, Godwin-Malife, Richardson (Bernard 73’)

Unused subs: Thomas, Evans, McCoulsky, Bunker

Stevenage XI: Cumming, Wildin, Cuthbert (c) (Oteh 68’), Prosser, Effiong, Hutton (Coker 68’), List, Read, Smith (Newton 85’), Marshall, Aitchison

Unused subs: Johnson, Vincelot, Osborne, Akinwande

Man of the Match: Jake Young