Three second half goals from Jerell Sellars, Will Boyle and Harry Pell helped Cheltenham Town to a comfortable Sky Bet League Two victory over Morecambe at the LCI Rail Stadium.
It took until the 59th minute for the deadlock to be broken, as Sellars brilliantly turned his man and hit a shot from the edge of the penalty area that took a heavy deflection and looped over Danijel Nizic, netting his first goal at Whaddon Road.
Six minutes later a long ball from Ilias Chatzitheodoridis was headed on by Pell and Boyle nodded in off the post from close range for his fifth goal of the season.
By the 73rd minute it was three, as George Lloyd’s delicious cross was nodded into the net at the far post by Pell to cap off a prolific second half performance from the Robins- a result which sealed an eighth home triumph of the campaign.
Gary Johnson made three changes to side that lost at Exeter City including handing a first start to 18-year-old youth team graduate Lloyd.
Pell and Jamie Grimes also returned to the starting line-up as Carl Winchester and Kevin Dawson missed out with injury, while Joe Rodon dropped to the bench.
Some early pressure from Morecambe was nearly rewarded in the third minute as a deflected cross fell for Kevin Ellison, but the veteran winger’s powerful drive was magnificently saved by Scott Flinders.
Just a minute later, Ellison gambled on a long ball and smashed a half-volley against the outside of the post as the visitors started on the front foot in Gloucestershire.
After a nervy opening 10 minutes for Cheltenham, Johnson’s side threatened with some dangerous crosses from both flanks, and Taylor Moore headed over the top from a corner in the 12th minute.
A quick free-kick from Joe Morrell was then headed powerfully towards goal by Will Boyle, but a deflection took the sting out of it and Nizic gathered comfortably in the Shrimps’ goal.
Alex Kenyon then tried a spectacular overhead kick for Morecambe, but the full-back’s looping effort dropped onto the roof of Finders’ net.
The Robins then came close themselves as Morrell’s teasing set-piece in the 21st minute was flicked on by Pell, but stand-in goalkeeper Nizic made a good save to tip the ball wide.
Making his full debut, Lloyd tried his luck from range, but his low shot bobbled wide before Michael Rose shot straight into the arms of Flinders from similar distance at the other end.
Nigel Atangana then turned cleverly but shot inches wide before the tenacious Boyle was denied yet again, as Nizic turned his header over the bar for a corner.
Just before the break, Mo Eisa tried his luck after an intricate turn, but it curled wide as Cheltenham finished the half stronger than they started it, albeit with no reward.
The second half nearly started with a bang as a speculative half-volley 35-yards-out from Aaron Wildig in the 48th minute narrowly missed the target for the Lancashire outfit.
A carbon copy of Morrell’s free-kick in the first half landed on the head of Pell once more, but this time his downward header somehow dropped wide of the post.
But a goal finally came just before the hour mark, as Sellars turned his man in the centre of the pitch before gliding forward to the edge of the box and unleashing a shot that deflected over Nizic and into the net.
That was Sellars’ second goal of the season but first at home and in the 65th minute and the hosts didn’t have to wait long to net their second.
Chatzitheodoridis’ long ball was headed on by Pell and Boyle was there to finally put the ball past Nizic, continuing his impressive scoring form for a central defender.
Pell then added himself to the scoresheet, meeting Lloyd’s cross with a header at the far post to register his fifth goal of the season.
The perfect afternoon was nearly capped off by Eisa, chasing a record breaking 21st league goal of the season, his free-kick was well saved by Nizic in the 85th minute.
But three was enough for Cheltenham Town to seal second home win in 2018, and eight of the season.
ROBINS: Flinders (Gk), Grimes, Atangana (Rodon 75), Pell, Boyle, Sellars (Graham 81), Eisa, Morrell, Moore, Chatzitheodoridis (Cranston 81). Subs not used: Lovett (Gk), Wright, Bower, Andrews.
MORECAMBE: Nizic (Gk), Kenyon, Old, Winnard, Ellison, Conlan, Wildig (Lang 61), Lavelle, Wylde (Thompson 61), Rose (Fleming 80), McGurk. Subs not used: Maher (Gk), McGowan, Oliver, Campbell.
REFEREE: Lee Swabey
ATTENDANCE: 2420 (64 from Morecambe)