Cheltenham vs Torquay: Robins rock Gulls
Cheltenham gained the first-leg advantage in their npower League Two play-off semi-final against Torquay courtesy of goals from Jermaine McGlashan and Ben Burgess.
McGlashan's first-half opener capped a fine display from the midfielder, who signed from Aldershot in January, while Burgess' measured header put the Gloucestershire side in pole position for the Wembley final.
Torquay, beaten play-off finalists last season, settled quicker than their hosts and Rene Howe fired an early effort just over the crossbar. Robins goalkeeper Scott Brown then rushed out to deny Ryan Jarvis as he looked to lift the ball over him from 12 yards out.
The home side were given a scare from the subsequent corner, which Brown badly misjudged to set up a goalmouth scramble from which Lee Mansell shot wide.
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The opening goal came after 27 minutes. Damon Lathrope conceded possession in midfield, allowing Luke Summerfield to feed McGlashan who darted into the area and slotted home via the far post.
Lee Mansell's overhead kick dropped wide of the far post in Torquay's final attack of the first half.
An action-packed start to the second half saw both sides strike the woodwork and the Robins double their advantage. First Mark Ellis tried to poke Summerfield's cross behind for a corner but smashed the ball against a post, then Burgess directed a powerful header into the top corner from McGlashan's cross after 50 minutes.
Jarvis spurned a glorious chance to reduce the deficit almost immediately as he headed against the bar from close range.
Substitute Taiwo Atieno tested Brown with a late toe-poke and a back-post header but could not find a way through, leaving Torquay with a two-goal deficit to overturn in the second leg at Plainmoor on Thursday.