Cheltenham Town video: New-look Robins back in the top three
Cheltenham Town 2 Torquay United 1
New-look Cheltenham Town moved back into the automatic promotion places with a fully deserved victory over Torquay United this afternoon.
After back-to-back goalless draws, Mark Yates thrust three of his new signings straight into the team.
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Paul Benson started up front, with Jason Taylor in midfield and Michael Hector at centre-half.
Sam Deering was dropped to the bench, with Marlon Pack sat in the stand as his move to Swindon Town hangs in the balance, while Billy Jones (thigh) was taken out as a precaution.
Striker Byron Harrison was among the substitutes, having not yet taken part in his first training session.
Cheltenham started well, with Benson almost scoring less than three minutes into his debut.
Jermaine McGlashan's cross was headed to him by Kaid Mohamed and he passed the ball towards goal.
Shaun Harrad forced the ball over the line from close range, but he was in an offside position, so the goal was chalked off.
Benson used the ball well with his back to goal, proving an awkward customer for Torquay's defence, while Mohamed was rejuvenated on the left wing after two ineffective performances up front.
He was on set piece duty in the absence of Pack and Jones and he set up the opener for Keith Lowe in the 33rd minute.
It was a corner from the right delivered towards the near post and Lowe powered in his fifth goal of the season.
Scott Brown made a fingertip save from Rene Howe in the 19th minute, but he was otherwise untroubled as Cheltenham controlled affairs.
The uncompromising Taylor was vocal and dominant, often sitting in front of the back four.
Hector showed the mobility and athleticism that made Yates so keen to bring him in on loan from Premier League Reading.
Hector also drew a save from Michael Poke in the 13th minute after a cross from Mohamed.
It remained 1-0 at half-time, but McGlashan fed Harrad in the 50th minute and the Bury loan man turned and fired a shot past Poke for his ninth of the campaign.
Harrad then forced Poke into a fine one-handed stop from long range before skipper Russ Penn saw a cracking strike turned onto the bar by the Gulls' last line of defence.
Cheltenham should have added to their total again in the 85th minute when Harrison forced Thomas Cruise into a sloppy backpass, but Darryl Duffy shot wide of the near post with only Poke to beat.
Torquay halved the deficit in the 88th minute when Howe's shot was half stopped by Brown, but he was helpless as it span into the net.
Cheltenham had to see out five minutes of additional time, but they did so successfully and thoroughly deserved their victory.
Cheltenham Town: S Brown; K Lowe, M Hector, S Elliott, S Jombati; J McGlashan, R Penn, J Taylor, K Mohamed (D Carter 82); P Benson (B Harrison 77), S Harrad (D Duffy 77). Subs not used: C Roberts, L McCullough, J Hanks, S Deering
Torquay United: M Poke; J Oastler (t Cruise 76), B Saah, A Downes, K Nicholson; L Mansell, D Lathrope, B Bodin, R Jarvis, N Craig (L Macklin 66); R Howe. Subs not used: M Rice, A MacDonald, C Easton, D Stevens, A Yeoman.
Referee: C Berry.
Attendance: 2,961 (389 away).
Star Man: Keith Lowe.
To re-live the action as it unfolded, click below: