Forest Green failed to make it 20 league games unbeaten as they lost 1-0 at home to Walsall on Saturday.

George Miller’s first-half strike gave new Walsall boss Michael Flynn a winning start as his side handed Rovers a first league defeat since October 9.

A high-octane opening saw Matty Stevens a whisker away from giving Forest Green the lead after four minutes as he stretched to toe over a Nicky Cadden cross.

Walsall responded just two minutes later with Miller failing to get a decent purchase on Tyrese Shade’s cross to the far post.

The Saddlers went ahead after 12 minutes when Emmanuel Osadebe opened Rovers up for Miller to finish clinically beyond Luke McGee.

Miller skewed wide from the edge of the box as rejuvenated Walsall threatened before a buccaneering run saw Baily Cargill’s strike deflect wide of Carl Rushworth’s post at the other end.

Rushworth kept Walsall’s lead intact after the break as he gloved a flying Jack Aitchison header over from a deep Kane Wilson cross and then did well to claw a Cadden cross wide.

Walsall threatened a second when Conor Wilkinson charged down a Cargill clearance for Osadebe to spank wide of the mark.

But the visitors finished the game comfortably, making it back-to-back wins since parting company with boss Matt Taylor.

Forest Green boss Edwards heaped praise on his below-par side after their first defeat in any competition since November.

He said: “I told the boys I’m proud of them and it has been a fantastic run – we’ve only lost three games in 31 matches and have 66 points, so we’re doing all right.

“We gave it everything but credit to Walsall, they’re fighting for their lives and have a new manager and today wasn’t our day but we will attack next week and bounce back at Crawley Town.”

Rovers are still 10 points clear at the top and have two games in hand over nearest rivals Tranmere.

And new Walsall boss Flynn insisted Rovers will be crowned champions sooner rather than later.

“Forest Green have it all and I expect them to be champions long before the season ends,” he said.