Ten-man Morecambe’s unbeaten run came to an end on a forgettable Tuesday night at Whaddon Road.
The Shrimps lost for the first time in 10 league games after being undone by a fluke opening goal in first-half stoppage time before losing skipper Mark Hughes just a minute after the break when he picked up a second yellow card.
Matt Richards gave Cheltenham the lead, swinging in a free-kick from the right hand touchline that managed to evade everyone and end up in the Shrimps net with goalkeeper Barry Roche left flat footed.
It was the worst possible time to concede, and anything Jim Bentley got across to his team at half-time went out of the window when Hughes was penalised for bringing down Sam Deering.
From that moment on it was a case of damage limitation for the Shrimps as the found themselves on the wrong end of a result in the league for the first time since defeat by the same score at Portsmouth on August 17.
They could have gone two goals down on 53 minutes when the home side were awarded a penalty after Robbie Threlfall had been penalised for handball but Roche saved Richard’s spot kick low to his left.
The second goal did come just after the hour when Roche was left stranded again when Terry Gornell’s shot took a deflection off Threlfall.
The home side added a third on 81 minutes when Byron Harrison capitalised on the loose ball to score after an Andy Parrish mistake.
The Shrimps had started the game on the front foot and could have taken the lead in only the second minute of the game.
Andy Fleming played in Padraig Amond but he failed to beat home keeper Scott Brown who saved well low to his left.
Brown was again the hero for the home side on nine minutes with another excellent save from a dripping Ryan Williams free kick as Morecambe took the game to the Robins.
But after a slow start Cheltenham came into the game with Troy Brown heading a corner wide from close range when he should have done better and Gornell firing wide after a great bit of skill on the edge of the Morecambe box.
And the Shrimps then never recovered from a freak few minutes either side of half-time.
Cheltenham: Brown, Jombati, Lowe, Brown, Richards, Deering, Noble, Taylor (Williams 85), McGlashan, Gornell, Cureton (Harrison 69). Subs not used: Roberts, Hanks, Kotwica, Elliott, Penn.
Morecambe: Roche, Wright, Parrish, Hughes (capt), Threlfall, Drummond (Diagne 64), Williams (McGee 79), Kenyon, Fleming, Amond, Ellison (Mwasile 71). Subs not used: Arestidou, Bell.
Referee: A Davies.
Attendance: 2,050 (54 Morecambe)