Ross Embleton said it was “fitting” that Josh Wright scored the only goal against Cheltenham Town in the club’s first competitive game without Justin Edinburgh.

Wright was the last signing made under Edinburgh before his death almost two months ago and he popped up with the winning goal against the Robins on an emotional day at the Breyer Group Stadium, shown by the celebration of holding up an ‘Edinburgh 3’ shirt in front of the main stand following the goal.

Speaking after the game, Embleton said: “It was fitting really. There was probably a number of players out there today that had they scored the first goal they would’ve dedicated it to the gaffer, but given the history and the fact he’s coming back here and making his first start in the Football League for us, I’m delighted for him.

“He’s made a mark on the game, I was pleased with his goal and I was pleased with his performance. I just hope that the two red cards don’t take the edge off what we did today.”

There were plenty of tributes for the former boss before the game, including two flags paraded around the pitch, one of which was funded by a Cheltenham fans’ group, a visual mosaic in the south stand and a minute’s silence prior to kick-off, and Embleton was pleased with the way the players remained focussed despite the huge emotion surrounding the game.

He said: “I kept trying to help the lads through it and I kept feeling that every time I did we were standing in another huddle with them all looking at me so I was testing myself on three or four occasions just to take the sting out of it.

“Ordinarily I wouldn’t go on the pitch. I don’t go on the pitch in the warm-up any more, Jobi [McAnuff] does that bit. We’ve done that bit now, we’ve done our dedication, now it’s time to get your game face on and I thought they did that.

“It was extremely tough from an individual perspective. Last week was difficult given that it was the first time I’d been stood in the dugout without Justin but today was pretty much the toughest experience I’ve ever had.”

The success means that it’s a first managerial win for Embleton in his first competitive game in charge, and he was delighted to get off to a winning start.

He said: “From a personal level it’s a great thing to experience. I’ve always made a big thing of the character and the players we’ve got in the dressing room and I’ve just said to the lads in there that the way they came through the summer, the way they’ve helped each other through it, and I include the new signings in that, the support they’ve given each other and the togetherness that Justin encouraged so often last year, they’ve maintained it and if anything they’ve lifted it again.”