Cheltenham suffered back-to-back defeats under boss Michael Duff as the fell to a disappointing defeat against high-flying Lincoln City at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.
An own goal by Robins defender Craig Alcock and a close-range finish from Lincoln forward Shay McCartan in the second half was enough to send the visitors home with all three points.
A valiant defensive display from the Robins in the first half ensured they went in level at the break but Lincoln striker McCartan came close for the visitors early on with a free-kick just outside the box which flew just past the post.
The visitors had the better opportunities in the opening exchanges and would’ve opened the scoring had it not been for a lapse in concentration.
Bruno Andrade created the best chance of the half after he escaped the attentions of Cheltenham defender Jordon Forster to slide in a low ball across the six-yard box which was begging to be tapped home, but John Akinde managed to scuff his effort wide from only a few yards out.
Akinde had an opportunity to make amends for his error moments later when he took on Forster and Johnny Mullins on the edge of the area, but his curling effort failed to trouble Flinders in the Robins goal.
Cheltenham ended the half in better fashion as they pressed their opponents back and good movement created space for Nigel Atangana to have an effort in the last act of the half, but good defending by the Imps deflected the shot comfortably for keeper Josh Vickers to collect.
Lincoln made a bright start to the second forty-five and a short corner nearly caught the Robins out when Andrade worked the ball out to Michael Bostwick on the edge of the area, and Flinders had to be alert to turn behind his curling effort.
More good build-up play by Lincoln allowed Harry Anderson to play McCartan in but his goal-bound effort hit the face of Akinde to stop the away side from taking the lead.
The introduction of debutant Luke Varney from the bench did see the hosts create some good passages of play, with Atangana cleverly linking up with the substitute to force a corner. However, the Robins failed to make the most of the set-piece.
It was Lincoln though who took the lead with less than twenty minutes to go when a cross from the left was fizzed in towards McCartan again, and the forward’s pressure forced substitute Craig Alcock to stab the ball past his own keeper.
McCartan soon had his goal when Andrade’s fierce effort was parried away by Flinders, but only at the feet of the forward who slotted home from close range to seal victory for Danny Cowley’s men.
CHELTENHAM TOWN (4-4-2): Flinders; Forster, Mullins (c), Boyle, Field (Alcock 46); Maddox, Broom (Kalala 81), Atangana, Dawson; Duku (Varney 59), Barnett. Subs not used: Lovett (gk), Tozer, Clements, Mooney.
LINCOLN CITY (4-4-2): Vickers; Eardley, Bostwick, Shackell (c), Toffolo; Anderson, Pett, O'Connor, Andrade (Mensah 82); Akinde (Rhead 85), McCartan (Green 88). Subs not used: Smith (Gk), Wharton, Chapman, Wilson.
REFEREE: D Whitestone
ATTENDANCE: 3,202 (754 from Lincoln)
Report by Joe Shepherd