The Robins began 2024 with a narrow 1-0 defeat at the hands of Northampton Town at Sixfields Stadium.
Kieron Bowie's second half penalty was the difference as the Robins saw their three match unbeaten run come to an end.
After full time manager Darrell Clarke said:
"I'm pretty angry to be honest. We got the ball into the final third a lot in the game and we just didn't produce.
"We asked a lot of questions but didn't have that end product and then we give away a sloppy penalty which is even more frustrating."
In a tightly contested first half Town nearly found an opening inside the first 10 minutes.
It could easily have seen the opener had Akin Odimayo not put an important challenge in on Will Ferry at the back post.
Moments later it was the hosts who threatened to open the scoring. A dangerous ball across goal from Marc Leonard was there to be met, but no one could supply the finishing touch.
Town would have two chances in quick succesion before the half hour mark as Ferry his powerful strike blocked befor Tom Bradbury headed over under pressure in the area.
After the break and the Robins had their best chance yet. Ferry's low effort cannoned back off the right post before George Lloyd's follow up went just wide of goal.
Substitute Aidan Keena then tried the spectacular from range but his well struck volley went over Thompson, drifitng wide of the target.
The hosts had a great chance not long after. Some excellent work from Tyreece Simpson down the left saw him find Mitch Pinnock who got it all wrong and fired over.
But they would find the opener on 66 minutes from the spot. Bowie burst down the right and as he entered the area Lewis Freestone brought the attacker down.
Up stepped Bowie and despite keeper Luke Southwood going the right way, the spot kick nestled into the bottom right corner.
The Robins tried to force their way back into proceedings as Keena forced a good save out of Thompson before Ferry's cross just evaded the oncoming forward.
Pinnock hit the post late in the game but the hosts wouldn't rue the miss and would see out the game to take the three points.
NORTHAMPTON TOWN (4-2-3-1): Thompson; Odimayo (Lintott 88), McGowan (C), Willis (Monthe 76), Brough; Leonard, McWilliams (Sowerby 54); Bowie (Hylton 76), Hondermarck (Guthrie 76), Pinnock; Simpson. Subs not used: Burge (Gk), Abimbola
CHELTENHAM TOWN (3-5-2): Southwood; Smith (Williams 70), Bradbury, Freestone (Davies 70); Long (C), Thompson (Sercombe 70), Bonds (Butler-Oyedeji 70), Pett; Goodwin (Keena 46), Lloyd. Subs not used: Pardington (Gk), Hammond
REFEREE: N Hair
ATTENDANCE: 6,467 (361 from Cheltenham)