Cheltenham Town have returned to winning ways as Andy Williams and Alfie May scored to hand Michael Duff’s side a 2-0 win over Oldham Athletic at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.
Fresh from a lucrative FA Cup tie against Manchester City at the weekend, the Robins showed no signs of rustiness in what was a professional display against their League Two counterparts.
Harry Kewell’s side were five without a win in all competitions before picking up an impressive victory over Newport County last time out.
Boosted by the confidence of a going toe-to-toe with high-flying Premier League side Man City on Saturday, Cheltenham made one change from that game, with Williams replacing George Lloyd in the starting line-up.
Oldham had collected 21 points from 11 away trips before travelling to the Jonny-Rocks in a rich away vein of form only bettered by one other club in the division.
Hosts Cheltenham started on the front foot against the Latics, with May looking sharp in the opening exchanges, only days after his heroic FA Cup exploits against City.
Having given Nicky Adams the slip on the wing, May drove into the penalty box before striking towards Laurence Bilboe in the Oldham goal. Saving well with his feet, it wouldn’t be the last time Bilboe was called into action in the first half.
Cheltenham’s stopper Josh Griffiths was making miraculous stops against Riyad Mahrez and Gabriel Jesus at the weekend, but his impressive save to deny Ben Garrity could prove just as important in the context of the season.
Advancing into the box, Garrity made it as far as the penalty spot before striking towards goal, where on loan West Bromwich Albion ‘keeper Griffiths saved with aplomb.
Shortly after bailing Cheltenham out within the first five minutes of the game, Marcel Hilßner’s long-range free kick might have caused a bigger problem - but despite Oldham’s gesticulations - Griffiths gathered his initial block to thwart the midfielders tricky strike.
In between Cheltenham’s best efforts to open the scoring through Finn Azaz and Matty Blair, Oldham forward Dylan Bahamboula squandered the best opportunity of the first period. After rounding Griffiths in the penalty box, the Robins goalkeeper did well to recover and tighten the angle for Bahamboula, whose delayed effort on goal was cleared by the covering Lewis Freestone.
With chances few and far between for either side before the break, the returning Williams made the most of his first chance in the second half.
Having kept onside, Williams latched onto Will Boyle’s pass into Oldham's half, and without hesitation drove towards goal, dropped his shoulder and bent a brilliant effort into the far corner to break the deadlock in the 54th minute.
Oldham looked for an instant reply as Griffiths stood up to the challenge again. KD Davis found enough space in Cheltenham’s box to take aim at an acute angle, though his effort was tipped onto the crossbar by the Cheltenham goalkeeper.
Alfie May doubled Cheltenham's lead with an accurate strike of his own from outside the penalty box. With Cheltenham in full control, May was replaced by George Lloyd after what has been a memorable few days for the in-form striker.
Cheltenham will travel south of Gloucestershire to face Forest Green on Saturday (kick off 15:00).
CHELTENHAM TOWN (3-5-2): J Griffiths (GK); C Raglan, B Tozer, W Boyle; M Blair, L Freestone, F Azaz, C Thomas, C Clements; A May, A Williams (AAddai '89). Subs not used: S Flinders (GK), S Long, D Bowry, G Lloyd, T Chamberlain, C Ebanks
OLDHAM ATHLETIC (4-1-3-2): L Bilboe (GK); N Adams, H Clarke, K Jameson (A Badan ’70), S Jombati; B Ntambwe (B Grant ‘64), KD Davis (A McCalmont ’75), B Garrity, M Hilßner; D Bahamboula, C McAleny. Subs not used: M Chapman (GK), C Piergianni, D Fage, T Hamer