Medy Elito’s early header was enough for Cambridge United to take three points at Cheltenham Town in Sky Bet League Two, with the U’s producing a dogged display.
Shaun Derry made four changes to starting line-up, with Greg Taylor, Paul Lewis, Ben Williamson and Medy Elito beginning the clash.
In fact, the latter opened the scoring for the U’s after just two minutes, when he was at hand to head home Luke Berry’s delightful cross to the far post in front of the travelling Amber Army.
On a tricky pitch, both sides struggled to gain sustained periods of possession but the U’s continued to look positive when they came forward with the ball.
However, they were dealt a blow on 27 minutes when goalscorer Elito was forced to leave the field due to injury and was replaced by Gerry McDonagh.
The host’s best opportunity in the opening 45 minutes fell to Carl Winchester who headed wide from a promising position inside the United 18 yard box.
Whilst at the other end, Paul Lewis could count himself unlucky not to have doubled the U’s lead before the break when he headed Piero Mingoia’s superb cross on target, only for Scott Brown to produce a magnificent one handed save.
United showed their defensive grit through second half. Wharton, Halliday and Taylor, who was playing in a central midfield role due to the absence of Dunne, O’Neil and Clark, all battled hard to win every ball and protect the lead.
Barry Corr was introduced on 67 minutes and gave the U’s a good out ball during the closing quarter of the match, with Gerry McDonagh also close to extending the advantage when through one-on-one only to be denied by Brown who stopped the shot with his feet.
Nonetheless Shaun Derry’s men were resolute and held on for the clean sheet to send the 349 travelling U’s fan back to Cambridge content with the three points.
Cheltenham Town: Brown, Barthram, Pell, Waters (Dayton, 73 mins), Wright, Boyle, Onariase, Winchester, Holman (Wootton, 63 mins), Plavotic, Davis
Cambridge United: Norris, Halliday, Legge, Wharton, Taylor, Carroll, Mingoia, Lewis (Corr, 67 mins), Berry, Elito (McDonagh, 27 mins), Williamson (Dunk, 60 mins)
Attendance: 2,905 (349 away)