Robins 1, Burton 3What would Derek Goddard have made of all of this?
The legendary writer, who died eight days ago, covered the Robins for more than 43 years and was fondly remembered before this game with a minute’s applause.
But he couldn’t have seen too many days like this at Whaddon Road, and his match report for this one would have made fascinating reading.
Paul Buckle’s new look Cheltenham Town never looked like troubling promotion hopefuls Burton Albion, who went top with this comfortable win.
For now the manager will have to wait a little longer for his first home win since arriving at the club back in November.
There were five new faces, and a return to 4-4-2 for the visit of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s Brewers, flying high at the opposite end of the League Two table.
Durrell Berry (from Torquay United), Jordan Wynter, Wes Burns (both Bristol City), Denny Johstone (Birmingham City) and Mathieu Manset (Walsall) took their places in the new-look starting line-up, overhauled since last weekend’s miserable afternoon against Dagenham & Redbridge.
Stuart Beavon smashed home the opener with 21 minutes on the clock, a fine left-footed finish from the edge of the box after Darragh Lenihan’s shot had been charged down by Troy Brown.
It was a rare moment of quality during a pretty dour match, with fans and players alike becoming acquainted as the task of retaining the club’s Football League status began in earnest.
Cheltenham were disjointed, perhaps not surprisingly and none more so than when the Brewers doubled their lead 15 minutes later.
Lucas Akins delivered a cross from the left and while Durrell Berry and Wes Burns hesitated, Adam McGurk nipped in between the pair and planted a header into the roof of the net.
Phil Edwards made it three, meeting McGurk’s 49th minute corner from the left with a firm header although it will be one of the easiest goals he’ll score in his career given the space he was afforded.
Burns though pulled one back, with a fine goal from an angle down the right to beat Jon McLaughlin with a fierce finish to earn a debut goal.
And they should have had a second when Jake Gray, on for Matt Richards at the interval, lifted a ball into the box but after an alright scramble but Matt Taylor’s shot from close-range squirted wide.
For Burton Jacob Blyth was denied by a fine last-ditch tackle by Berry, Beavon saw a great opportunity from 18 yards drift wide while Edwards drew a save with a powerful header from another corner.
It's back to the drawing board for Buckle.
CHELTENHAM TOWN (4-4-2): Carson; Berry, Taylor (c), Brown, Braham-Barrett; Burns, Wynter, Ferdinand, Richards (Gray 46); Manset (Richards 46), Johnstone. Subs not used: Vaughan, Hanks, Kotwica, Jones, Reynolds (Gk).
BURTON ALBION (4-4-2): McLaughlin; Edwards, Mousinho (c), Taft, McCrory; Akins, Weir, Lenihan, McGurk (Calero 88); Beavon (El Khayati 82), Blyth (Naylor 90). Subs not used: Cansdell-Sherriff, Slade, Harness, Shearer (Gk).
REFEREE: J SImpson
ATTENDANCE: 2,389 (286 from Burton)