Barrie McKay struck a wonder-goal on his Nottingham Forest debut to give Mark Warburton’s side an opening weekend win against Millwall.
The winger beat Jordan Archer with a great strike from 25 yards in the first half to earn Forest the three points. Millwall threw plenty at The Reds’ goal but couldn’t find a breakthrough.
Mark Warburton handed full debuts to Tendayi Darikwa, Barrie McKay and Daryl Murphy while fellow new signings Kieran Dowell and Jason Cummings started on the bench.
A packed City Ground gave The Reds a big welcome, with the fans in the Trent End showing their colours with a fantastic red and white display.
Forest had plenty of possession in the early minutes of the game without looking threatening, but it was the newly-promoted side who created the early openings.
Aiden O’Brien had a tame header saved by Jordan Smith but the keeper was unable to get near Steve Morison’s header on 13 minutes as his close-range effort cannoned back off the crossbar following a corner.
The chances kept coming for The Lions as they mounted pressure on The Reds’ goal. Lee Gregory lashed an effort over on 15 then O’Brien had another guilt-edged chance on 18 to head home at the back post but his effort went over the bar.
The Reds started to edge their way back into the match, with Darikwa causing problems down the Millwall left. Fellow new signing McKay also looked lively and he found the breakthrough with a superb strike on 41 minutes.
The Scotsman jinked past his man on the left before cutting inside and letting fly with a ferocious effort which crashed into the net off Jordan Archer’s right-hand post.
McKay was involved straight after the break as he burst down the left flank and got to the byline. His cut back was met by Ben Brereton at the far post but he was denied by a fine block by James Meredith.
The visitors posed a big threat though and should have levelled the match on 51. A mix up in the Forest defence gifted the ball to Morison who squared to his strike partner Gregory, but the forward could only fire over the bar with the goal at his mercy.
Another chance came and went for Millwall on 64 minutes as they broke forward quickly. Morison teed up Jed Wallace whose effort was brilliantly smothered by Smith.
The Lions applied more pressure and they thought they had found the equaliser on 76 as Morison poked home at the back post, only to see referee Peter Bankes blow his whistle and rule it out.
The introduction of Kieran Dowell for his first appearance in a red shirt added some impetus to the Forest attack, linking up well with Zach Clough on a couple of occasions to come close to doubling the advantage.
There was a final opportunity for Millwall in injury time to salvage a point but Fred Onyedinma could only head wide following a long throw-in in injury time as Forest held out for an opening weekend win.
Forest: Smith, Darikwa, Worrall, Mancienne (c), Traore, Vaughan, Clough, Osborn (Cohen 59’), McKay, Brereton (Dowell 59’), Murphy (Mills 77’)
Unused subs: Evtimov, Lichaj, Cummings, Vellios
Goal: McKay 41’
Millwall: Archer, McLaughlin, Meredith, Hutchinson, Cooper, Wallace, Williams (Elliott 83’), Saville, O’Brien (Onyedinma 67’), Morison (c), Gregory (Ferguson 78’)
Unused subs: King, Craig, Thompson, Webster
Booking: Saville 89’
Attendance: 28,065 (Away 1,778)
Referee: Peter Bankes