Reuben Reid’s brace has booked Cheltenham’s place in the EFL Trophy second-round as Plymouth Argyle were beaten 2-0 at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.
For the second time this season, Reid’s goals were enough to claim victory in the EFL Trophy after Cheltenham opened the season with a win at Newport County.
Michael Duff’s Robins have now won three in three with clean sheets to boast in each of their wins over Tranmere, Leyton Orient and now Plymouth.
Reid’s double over his former side came with no reply as the returning Scott Flinders made an inspired return to action after being sidelined for up to four months with a broken leg in a win over Oldham in January.
Plymouth’s Ryan Hardie squandered three golden chances to open the scoring before half-time with Flinders thwarting the on-loan forward twice in the first 15 minutes.
Despite Ryan Freestone and debutant Tom Sang enjoying some early space on the flanks, their crosses towards Reid proved futile as the Pilgrims created the better of the chances before half-time.
A cuter route to goal carved out Cheltenham's best chance to score before the interval when the returning Alex Addai and Sang combined to create a chance for Reid.
Plymouth goalkeeper Jack Ruddy initially denied the striker his second goal in the EFL Trophy by palming his goal-bound effort away from danger, but Cheltenham continued to probe.
Ben Tozer’s pass from inside his own half drew praise from manager Duff as Addai came within inches of latching onto his ball in-behind Plymouth’s high back-line.
Plymouth offered little in the way of goal-scoring opportunities in the second half as Cheltenham proved good value for the win.
After four games in League One this season, the Pilgrims have collected 5 points from 4 games and sit 13th in the table but their superior league standing had little bearing on the game.
Robins manager Duff handed Sang his first start after joining on a loan move from Cardiff City last month and the versatile loanee impressed in his first outing at the Jonny-Rocks.
Youth team players Connor Jakeways and Felix Miles joined the club at under-nine level and were named among the substitutes alongside the weekend's opening goal scorer, George Lloyd.
Cheltenham’s final EFL Trophy group fixture is at home to Norwich City Under-21s in November.
The Robins will play host to Crawley on Saturday who sit one place above the Robins in League Two.
CHELTENHAM TOWN (3-4-3): Flinders (GK); Tozer, Raglan, Bowry; Clements, Bonds, Sang, Freestone; May, Reid, Addai.
Subs not used: Harris (Gk), Thomas, Lloyd, Campbell, Chamberlain, Jakeways, Miles.
PLYMOUTH ARGYLE (5-3-2): Ruddy (GK); Aimson, Wootton, Pursall, Edwards, Law; Lolos, Fornah, Reeves; Telford, Hardie.
Subs not used: Cooper (GK), Watts, Grant, Opoku, Camará, Cooper.
Referee: Christopher Sarginson
Assistants: Thomas Harty, Michael Begley. Fourth Official: Adam Ricketts