Striker Freddie Hinds scored a stunning first goal for Cheltenham Town - but two late goals saw Forest Green Rovers edge an enthralling Checkatrade Trophy clash at the LCI Rail Stadium.
Hinds scored a sensational opener in the all Gloucestershire cup clash, unleashing an unstoppable drive from 25 yards out to find the net.
Reece Brown levelled for Rovers with a low shot from the edge of the penalty area before a minute later Jordan Stevens repeated the feat from a similar spot.
Cheltenham were reduced to 10 ten when Danny Wright was given a red card before Mo Eisa nearly snatched a draw when he hit the post from range with two minutes left.
Manager Gary Johnson made eight changes to the team that started against Chesterfield, with Taylor Moore, Kyle Storer and Jerell Sellars all retaining their places.
It was the lively Sellars who had the game’s first chance as he fired a rising drive over the bar in the opening five minutes after being set free 25 yards out by Hinds.
The recalled Danny Wright then forced a low save from Sam Russell, after getting to Jordan Cranston’s teasing cross, before Nigel Atangana failed to turn home the loose ball.
The visitors had a huge chance to open the scoring on 12 minutes when Doidge was freed by Drissa Traore.
The striker hit a powerful low shot that Flatt did well to divert onto the inside of the post before it ran across the line and away.
Flatt again produced ten minutes later when he brilliantly spread himself to deny Charlie Cooper six yards out, after a low cross from Luke James looked certain to be turned home.
At the other end Hinds was showing some neat touches, leaving two men in his wake on the right wing with a quick turn only to see a low cross towards Wright turned away.
Home defenders Matt Bower and Alex Davey were both booked in quick succession before Rovers’ wideman James saw a shot deflect wide before he became the latest to be denied by Flatt, who this time denied him at the near post.
Some pinball in the Forest Green box almost saw the Robins snatch a half-time lead when Cranston turned over a cross that, after being deflected up, Wright volleyed towards goal and Hinds nodded over.
Will Boyle saw a header from a Storer free kick comfortably saved in the opening minute of the second half before a stunning opener Hinds.
There looked little danger when a misplaced pass fell to the young striker, but he produced a stunning finish to smash the ball home from 25 yards.
Forest Green looked to respond with Reece Brown unleashing a powerful strike that Davey flung himself in front of to block.
Eisa came on for Hinds and immediately tested Russell from 30 yards out, who saved well low to his left before quickly scrambling to his feet to deny Carl Winchester as he raced in for the rebound.
Wright found the net from close range, but the goal was disallowed for a foul in the build-up, while Cranston became the third home player in the book of referee Kettle after a late tackle in midfield.
Forest Green hit back 13 minutes from time when the ball fell to Brown who arrowed a low shot into the bottom corner.
And less than two minutes later young forward Stevens found the net from a similar spot on the field with another low strike.
The home side were suddenly down to ten men, when Wright was sent off.
A late chance saw Eisa beat Russell to the ball out wide, but his instinctive curling effort - with the keeper beaten and out of his goal - hit the outside of the post and bounced clear.
CHELTENHAM TOWN: Flatt, Cranston, Boyle, Davey, Bower, Moore, Storer (Winchester 57), Sellars (Grimes 72), Atangana, Wright, Hinds (Eisa 62). Subs not used: Lovett (Gk), Graham, Lloyd.
FOREST GREEN ROVERS: Russell, Bennett, Traore, Doidge (Bugiel 73), Brown, Cooper (Stevens 76), Fitzwater, Wishart (Iacovitti 90), Roberts, James, Osbourne. Subs not used: Collins (Gk), Laird, Mullings, Randall.
REFEREE: Trevor Kettle
ATTENDANCE: 1,576 (167 from Forest Green Rovers)