The Robins fell to a 3-0 defeat against Stevenage at the Completely Suzuki Stadium.
Jordan Roberts’ first half goal and a double from Elliott List denied Kevin Russell a winning start as interim manager.
“In a strange sort of way, I thought between both boxes we were the better team by a mile,” said Russell.
“Some of the football we played was really good but games of football are won and lost on what happens in the two boxes.
“We’ve got to be better, more clinical and it has been like that all season but if they keep playing like that, they will get results.”
After a start punctuated by injuries, the visitors struck the first blow with Roberts steering in a second ball from a corner.
Luke Southwood was called into action 10 minutes later to prevent the lead doubling with an onrushing save to deny Charlie McNeill one-on-one.
Backed by a loud home following, the Robins spurred into life with confidence growing by the minute before Jovan Malcolm rattled the underside of the crossbar after a smart turn and shot inside the box.
Efforts continued to fly in on the Stevenage goal with Aidan Keena driving over before Liam Sercombe’s volley on the edge of the box needed superbly tipping over by Krisztian Hegyi.
The half-time break gave the visitors time to regroup and they soon started threatening the Robins’ goal with Jamie Reid forcing Southwood into an excellent low save.
The Robins weren’t deterred though as Malcolm’s downward header from Sean Long’s cross needed saving before Keena flashed a ball across an empty six yard box.
However, a quickfire brace from substitute List put the contest to bed.
First a scramble in the box from a corner resulted in the striker firing under Southwood before the Robins’ keeper saved a rising drive from Ben Thompson but List was there to follow up.
Southwood was called into action to keep the visitors tally at three with a reactive save down to his right.
CHELTENHAM TOWN (4-3-3): Southwood; Long (c), Bevan, Freestone, Ferry (B. Williams 76); Hammond (Chapman 76), Bonds (Willcox 90), Sercombe; Street, Keena, Malcolm (Peupion 70). Subs not used: Harris (Gk), J. Williams, Davies
STEVENAGE (3-4-1-2): Hegyi; Sweeney, N. Thompson, Piergianni (c); Freeman, B.Thomspon (L. Thompson 90), Burns (Neal 90), Butler; Roberts (MacDonald 88); Reid (Hemmings 90), McNeill (List 57). Subs not used: Ashby-Hammond (Gk), Forster-Caskey
REFEREE: L Doughty
ATTENDANCE: 3,947 (349 away)