IF Wrexham's first day nerves weren't exactly settled by a - hopefully - premature goal-of-the-season contender from midfielder Mark Jones, Saturday's performance from manager Denis Smith's new-look line up was, by the end of the afternoon, more promising than even he could have hoped.
No one knows better than the hugely-experienced Dragons' boss that the opening game of a new season counts for little compared with the nine-month slog ahead. But the manner of his side's victory against a Boston United team with lofty ambitions of their own will not have gone unnoticed elsewhere.
To describe Wrexham's success as comfortable is to understate the ease with which the visitors were contained, tamed and outclassed, even though it took a late first strike from Lee Roche to eventually ensure three points.
But Smith is more aware than most that the vagaries of injury and suspension over the course of a long campaign contain potential booby traps to come.
A measure of the possible problems he faces is that his 16-strong squad for the game picked itself since Jim Whitley and Matt Crowell were unavailable. Even when he does bring in two new faces to bring the numbers up to 20, Wrexham will still be operating on the thinnest of margins.
That said, the players on view at the Racecourse produced the best collective display since their opening pre-season friendly against Liverpool almost four weeks ago.
Although Jones was the sponsors' man-ofthe-match, Smith reckoned defender Dave Bayliss was more deserving of the champagne while Andy Holt (left) also thrust himself into the frame.
Skipper Darren Ferguson ran the show in the opening 45 minutes while new strikers Jon Walters and Lee McEvilly, despite a less than ideal bedding-in spell over the last month, proved a real handful and left Boston's high-profile strike-force of Julian Joachim and Noel Whelan in the shade.
So comprehensive was Wrexham's superiority that goalkeeper Mike Ingham was not required to make a meaningful save until the final minute of the game, although United boss Steve Evans felt his players were always in it.
"I don't remember them having too many chances either and, to be fair to the kid (Jones), he's got a wonder goal," he said. "We were sloppy then and for the second goal I think we were attacking their penalty area and we've asked people to pick up on the halfway line. They've not done it and we were caught, so they were both poor goals to concede.
"There weren't too many negatives from my point of view. Although there were two goals in the game, aside from that we were in it. At half time they were 1-0 up and it would have been different had we not been trying to get back into the game."
Evans conceded that Wrexham's first-half dominance had forced a change of tactics, adding: "We matched them up in midfield because we know the boy Ferguson can get on the ball and play. He's a gifted talent, but in the second half I felt he wasn't so much in the game.
"We had three or four balls across the face of the goal at 1-0 and we were always in the game but, overall, we've got no complaints."
Smith, on the other hand, somewhat played down his side's assured performance, commenting: "It's one game, but if we play every game like that and win 2-0 every time between now and the end of the seaon I'll be delighted.
"I want to churn out those results week in and week out, but whether we can do that I don't know.
"I expect to win games and my ambition is to win the league.
"Boston have lost one game and you can't write them off yet. They've got some good players there and, when they gel, they will do okay."
There wasn't too much between the sides during the opening 20 minutes with Boston taking encouragement from a series of corners, which kept Ingham and the defenders in front of him on their toes.
But Wrexham's initial caution was gradually replaced by a more expansive passage of play during which Ferguson through the middle and Holt down the left flank cranked up the pressure.
Twice in the space of a couple of minutes, McEvilly made a nuisance of himself to unsettle the United back line and only a fine challenge from Austin McCann denied Walters from turning home a headed pass from his fellow front-man.
And the breakthrough after 23 minutes was reward for the home side's insistent prodding and probing. Ferguson launched a corner and big Dennis Lawrence flicked the ball on to Shaun Pejic, who made the best of an unpromising angle by picking out Jones who was lurking just outside the penalty area.
The Wales under-21 international sized up the opportunity and thumped a superb effort from 25 yards that gave United goal-keeper Nathan Abbey no chance.
The goal galvanised not only the Dragons but Jones himself, who is visibly developing into the player his manager has always known he can be, and one of his trademark dummies fooled even referee Gary Lewis, who booked the midfielder for diving when in fact he was caught late by a flat-footed opponent.
With Jones and Ferguson in full flow and Danny Williams providing the steel, Wrexham dominated possession and Abbey was kept busy, holding attempts by Walters and Holt either side of the interval.
There was a minor scare when Brad Maylett got clear on the right to deliver a teasing cross in between the retreating Bayliss and Ingham but the central defender took command of the situation and headed behind before Whelan could attack the ball.
Overall, though, Boston were struggling to cope and McEvilly was denied a goal by an errant linesman, who signalled offside against Walters, even though the striker was not interfering with play.
Only the referee failed to see the 57th minute trip by McCann on Walters, which should have been punished by a penalty and the striker was then unfortunate to see his chip beat Abbey but bounce away to safety off the post.
The home side's failure to press home their advantage inevitably ramped up the tension around the ground and Abbey's fine save from Ferguson 10 minutes from time didn't help, but a decisive intervention from Dean Bennett finally secured the points.
The substitute's powerful run from the halfway line took him past three defenders and even when he was finally halted in the box he was able to prod the ball sideways to the unmarked Roche who slammed the ball into the net to collect his first goal in a Wrexham shirt.
Walters, whose workrate was prodigious throughout, ensured his side's other objective - a clean sheet - with a fine defensive header in the final minute and the under-worked Ingham finally stained his shirt with grass when he dived to his right to hold a follow-up shot from Danny Thomas.
WREXHAM: Ingham; Pejic, Bayliss, Lawrence; Roche, Mark Jones, Ferguson, Williams, Holt; McEvilly (Bennett 72). Subs: Michael Jones, Spender, Mackin, Smith. BOOKED: Williams, Mark Jones.
BOSTON UNITED: Abbey; Canoville, Futcher, Holland, McCann (Thomas 68); Maylett, Johnson (Rusk 45), Greaves, Talbot; Whelan (Norris 78), Joachim. Subs: White, Wright. BOOKED: Canoville, Talbot.
REFEREE : Gary Lewis