Defender Jamie Grimes scored his third goal of the season as Cheltenham Town beat Crewe Alexandra on a chilly afternoon at the LCI Rail Stadium in Sky Bet League Two.
Cheltenham dominated the first half but could not find a way past Ben Garratt in the Crewe goal. Danny Wright and Mo Eisa came the closest but both their efforts from close range went over the bar.
The goal finally arrived in the 52nd minute when Grimes was on hand to convert Will Boyle’s clever headed knockdown.
The Robins were wearing a special one-off blue kit promoting the British Lung Foundation in support of coach Ian Hutton and his fiancée Vicky Veness, who was diagnosed with lung cancer earlier this year.
The Robins started brightly and Wright almost opened the scoring within the first five minutes. Tricky play from Jerell Sellars found the forward in the middle and his shot from the penalty spot was deflected over.
Mid-way through the first half, Wright battled to find space for a pass and found Joe Morrell on the edge of the area, he controlled the bouncing ball and fired a tame volley at goal which was saved by Garratt.
Thirty-four minutes into the match Crewe registered their first effort on target. Tom Lowery drove forward and found Chris Porter, who had his near post shot well saved by Scott Flinders.
Cheltenham cleared only as far as George Cooper who saw his effort from the edge of the box denied by another good stop from Flinders.
Eisa and Sellars tormented the opposition defence all half and combination play between them almost opened the scoring before the interval.
Eisa knocked down a cross to Sellars who latched onto the bouncing ball but was unable to beat Garratt.
Flinders was once again called into action when Perry Ng’s shot from the edge of the area took a bobble in front of goal and the goalkeeper reacted well to palm it clear.
Normal service resumed after the break, and Eisa wasted no time in having another effort at goal. Wright held the ball up on the edge of the box and rolled in his striker-partner who shot agonisingly wide from a tight angle.
As the light fell and the temperature dropped close to freezing levels, Cheltenham dug deep and finally found a way past Crewe.
After a long spell of attacking pressure, Boyle knocked down a cross to Grimes who was unmarked on the penalty spot and fired in the opener.
Eisa continued to beat any defender that attempted to mark or tackle him. On the hour mark he cut inside to test Garratt at his near post.
In the second half Crewe put together a handful of dangerous attacks, but strong and organised defending by Grimes, Boyle and the rest of the team meant any advances made by the visitors resulted in nothing.
Five minutes from time, Flinders was called into action again to ensure the three points were preserved. Tom Lowery received the ball on the left side of the box and cut inside to shoot on his right foot, but Flinders bravely threw himself at his feet to smother the ball.
CHELTENHAM TOWN: Flinders; Winchester, Boyle, Grimes, Moore (O’Shaughnessy 90), Morrell, Pell, Sellars (Atangana 87), Dawson, Wright, Eisa. Subs not used: Flatt (Gk), Bower, Hinds, Lloyd.
CREWE ALEXANDRA: Garratt; Ng, Walker (Bakayogo 62), Raynes, Porter, Dagnall, Bowery (Ainley 65), Cooper, Nolan, Lowery, Pickering. Subs not used: Richards (Gk), Kirk, Reilly, Stubbs, Grant.
REFEREE: Dean Whitestone
ATTENDANCE: 2,795 (142 from Crewe Alexandra)