Cheltenham Town video: Steve Elliott and Darren Carter on target as Robins defeat AFC Wimbledon
Cheltenham Town 2 AFC Wimbledon 1
Cheltenham Town ended a winless run of three games by seeing off AFC Wimbledon at the Abbey Business Stadium this afternoon.
Steve Elliott's tenth minute header and Darren Carter's 56th minute strike were enough to sink the struggling Dons, although Brennan Dickenson's 63rd minute goal set up a tense final half an hour.
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But Cheltenham saw the game out successfully to move a place to sixth as the race for promotion in League Two continues to hot up, with just two points separating third placed Burton Albion from seventh placed Rotherham United.
The Robins' 15th win of the season lifted them one place to sixth ahead of Tuesday night's home match against Chesterfield.
Mark Yates kept faith with the same starting line-up that performed so well at Fleetwood Town in Tuesday night's 1-1 draw.
Defender Steve Elliott passed a late fitness test having picked up an ankle knock at Highbury Stadium.
His former defensive partner Alan Bennett returned to Whaddon Road for the first time since leaving Cheltenham on January 31.
An emotional Bennett was given a rapturous reception from all four sides of the ground at the end of the game as he thanked the Robins fans for their support during his 18 months with the club.
Elliott underlined his worth when he nodded in Billy Jones' free-kick from the right, with striker Paul Benson blocking Elliott's marker Pim Balkestein, giving the big man a free header for his second goal of the campaign.
It gave Cheltenham a deserved lead, with Neil Sullivan showing he has not lost his agility at the age of 43, making a fine one-handed save to deny Carter in the eighth minute.
The only surprise was that it took Cheltenham until the 56th minute to double their advantage.
The move for Carter's sixth goal of the season was started by a piece of calm play from goalkeeper Scott Brown.
He could have smashed the ball clear under pressure from a striker, but he played it short to Michael Hector, who released Russ Penn on the right with a lovely long ball.
Penn cut inside and as he shaped to shoot with his left foot, the ball ran away from him and he managed to poke it to Carter, who beat Sullivan with a firm low finish.
Wimbledon had offered very little, but the introduction of two substitute made an immediate impact.
Brennan Dickenson scored with his first touch almost immediately after joining the action and fellow substitute Kevin Sainte-Luce was involved in the build-up, feeding Chris Hussey to set up Dickenson, who connected beautifully with his first-time drive.
Cheltenham simply had to hold on, having thrown away so many leads this season and they did so, although Jack Midson should have levelled for the Dons.
The one-time Robins transfer target lifted the ball over the bar from close range after Gary Alexander had wrestled free of Hector's attentions.
Cheltenham Town: S Brown; K Lowe, M Hector, S Elliott, B Jones; R Penn (J McGlashan 86), M Pack, J Taylor, D Carter (K Mohamed 71); S Deering; P Benson (B Harrison 80). Subs not used: D Duffy, C Roberts, S Harrad, S Jombati.
AFC Wimbledon: N Sullivan; M Mitchel-King (K Sainte-Luce 62), P Balkestein, A Bennett, C Hussey; S Moore, L Moore, H Pell, J Midson (C Strutton 77); G Alexander, J Darko (B Dickenson 62). Subs not used: W Cummings, S Long, R Yussuff, M Jaimez-Ruiz.
Referee: A Davies.
Attendance: 3,177 (500 away).
Star Man: Michael Hector.
Re-live the action as it unfolded by clicking below: