Point apiece at Whaddon RoadCheltenham Town and AFC Wimbledon shared the spoils after this entertaining draw at Whaddon Road this afternoon.
The Robins rode their luck at times, but deserved a point out of this one for their contribution to the contest in the first half.
They made the perfect start, Matt Taylor notching his first goal for the club with only eight minutes on the clock, but it was cancelled out four minutes before the interval by Adam Barrett.
The second period belonged to Wimbledon, who created a handful of chances to win it and on another day Adebayo Akinfenwa, a familiar foe, could have bagged a couple and struck the woodwork with 15 minutes to play.
Yates made two changes to the side that slipped to defeat at Burton Albion last weekend.
In came Jack Deaman, for his first league start, and Raffaele De Vita for a full debut at the expense of the suspended Troy Brown and Paul Black.
The south Londoners should have taken an early lead of their own when Matt Tubbs raced onto Adebayo Akinfenwa’s flick header, only to smash his effort well over from 12 yards.
But Cheltenham looked positive from the off and took full advantage of the miss to take the lead only a minute later, Taylor stabbing home from close range after goalkeeper James Shea had spilled Lee Vaughan’s low delivery from the left.
John Marquis had pressured the Wimbledon number one as the ball came across, and the skipper was quickest to react to the error to poke it home from a couple of yards out.
Marquis almost made two with an inventive effort moments later, back-heeling Matt Richards’ cross a yard wide before De Vita missed the target with an ambitious volley.
Marquis was in the thick of it again midway through the first half, first combining with Harrison on the edge of the box to fashion a shooting chance although Shea got down well to save his low effort.
Then the Millwall loanee saw his 18-yard strike saved after another pass from Harrison, who himself saw a glancing header saved.
Wimbledon though always looked a threat and Trevor Carson was at his best to deny Tubbs with a marvellous save after the striker had met Sean Rigg’s pinpoint cross from the left with a powerful header.
His strike partner Akinfenwa was a menace all afternoon and was unfortunate to see a deflected shot drop a foot wide of the left upright.
The Wombles finished the first half the stronger of the two sides and were back on terms with half time approaching, Barrett prodding home through a crowd of players after George Francomb swung in a corner from the right.
There was a late chance for Harrison, but his header was smartly saved by Shea.
Wimbledon enjoyed a good spell after the break although they were initially restricted to a number of long range efforts by Barry Fuller and Akinfenwa, with a couple.
The Robins looked to Zack Kotwica (for De Vita) and Terry Gornell (Marquis) to find a way through but the visitors defended manfully, often with five at the back at time, to restrict Cheltenham in attack. Ultimately, Shea didn’t have a second half save to make.
At the other end Akinfenwa went close to winning it, hitting the woodwork with a quarter of an hour to play after twisting away from Elliott before clipping the crossbar with a deft hooked volley.
Francomb had drawn a smart save from Carson with a low drive before Akinfenwa was presented with another fine chance, the best of the lot although this time he rolled it under Carson and inches past the left post after skipping away from Taylor with eight minutes to play.
CHELTENHAM TOWN (3-5-2): Carson; Deaman, Taylor (c), Elliott; Vaughan, De Vita (Kotwica 71), Richards, Hanks, Braham-Barrett; Harrison (Haworth 90), Marquis (Gornell 79). Subs not used: Gould (Gk), Sterling-James, Bowen, Lawrence.
AFC WIMBLEDON (4-4-2): Shea; Fuller, Bennett (c), Barrett, Smith; Francomb (Beere 82), Moore, Bulman, Rigg; Akinfenwa, Tubbs (Azeez 86). Subs not used: Frampton, Sainte-Luce, Nicholson, McDonnell (Gk), Harrison
REFEREE: C Kavanagh
ATTENDANCE: 2,795 (422 from Wimbledon)