A stoppage time penalty from Conor Thomas earned Cheltenham Town a dramatic home victory over Grimsby Town to make it six matches unbeaten at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium in all competitions.
Broom opened the scoring with Cheltenham’s first meaningful effort on goal after 29 minutes, as his strike from just outside the box took a heavy deflection and nestled into the bottom left hand corner.
But following two forced substitutions for the Robins, Elliot Embleton bundled home the equaliser after 64 minutes after great work on the edge of the area by former Cheltenham striker Wes Thomas.
However, there was late drama at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium as sub Sam Jones was chopped down inside the box and Thomas kept up his 100% record from the spot to fire in the winner.
Manager Michael Duff made wholesale changes to the team that beat Newport County in the Checkatrade Trophy, as Jacob Maddox made a return to the starting XI with Luke Varney, Ryan Broom, Chris Clements and Chris Hussey.
A shaky start for the Robins allowed for an early shot at goal but Luke Hendrie skied his effort over, Embleton then curled an attempt marginally off target after cutting in from the wide left.
Cheltenham then had two breaks in as many minutes as Varney shot straight at James McKeown in a three on three situation – before Broom whipped a delightful ball in from the wide right that was inches away from a telling connection.
Some good hold up play from Thomas in the 21st minute then led to Harry Clifton trying a clever back-heel which was easily saved by Flinders.
The energetic Thomas then met an Embleton cross but headed wide despite beating Flinders to the ball.
But against the run of play the Robins took the lead as Broom exchanged a one-two with Ben Tozer and ran towards the edge of the box before unleashing a left footed strike that deflected into the bottom corner.
The Mariners then cleared a corner but a brilliant leaping header from Clements put it back into the danger zone, but Tyrone Barnett’s volley hit the side netting.
A clever corner routine then almost led to a second goal as well, as Hussey went short to Clements, who cut the ball back to Maddox but his snap-shot deflected wide so they had to settle for just the one at half-time.
Early in the second half, Hussey saw a side-footed effort from the just inside the penalty box pushed away by the flying McKeown, as the Michael Duff’s men attacked with the wind on their side.
Two injuries in two minutes clearly disrupted the Robins’ flow as both Nigel Atangana and Maddox went off and within another minute Michael Jolley’s men levelled the scores.
Flinders failed to come out to a ball over the top and Thomas span his marker before smashing a shot that deflected into the path of Embleton to bundle in the equaliser.
Cheltenham then weathered a serious amount of Grimsby pressure, as Flinders made several good saves, the best of which to deny Ben Pringle from close range with six minutes to go.
But on a rare Robins attack, a rash challenge on former Mariner Jones resulted in a penalty and fellow sub Thomas smashed into his favoured bottom left hand corner to win the game in dramatic late circumstances.
ROBINS: Flinders (Gk), Hussey, Tozer, Mullins ©, Atangana (Thomas 61), Broom, Boyle, Maddox (Addai 62), Clements, Barnett, Varney (Jones 88). Subs not used: McAlinden, Lovett (Gk), Mooney, Alcock.
GRIMSBY TOWN: McKeown (Gk), Collins ©, Hessenthaler, Clifton, Vernam (Cook71), Fox, Embleton, Davis, Hendrie, Pringle (Rose 89), Thomas. Subs not used: Welsh, Cardwell, Rose, Russell (Gk), Whitmore.
REFEREE: Paul Marsdon
ATTENDANCE: 2,775 (292 from Grimsby)