TEN-MAN Morecambe suffered a third successive defeat on a controversial night at Whaddon Road.
Former Preston North End midfielder Darren Carter scored twice on a night where Morecambe deserved far more than they got after losing Kevin Ellison to a red card on 58 minutes after an off the ball incident.
The Shrimps got off to the worst possible start when they went a goal down just 90 seconds in.
The visiting defence failed to clear their lines and the ball fell to the edge of the area where Carter volleyed superbly past Barry Roche to give Cheltenham the lead.
The home side continued to press and Roche had to be at his best to save smartly from Chris Zebroski before Shaun Harrad curled an effort wide of the left-hand post.
But after a shaky start Jim Bentley's side came into the game and created the better chances.
Robbie Threlfall played in Richard Brodie with a superb through ball and the striker rounded keeper Scott Brown but saw his effort cleared off the line by Steve Elliott.
From there the Shrimps forced a string of corners and home keeper Brown had to be at his best to keep out Chris McCready’s close range header and Kevin Ellison also went close with a looping header which grazed the top of the crossbar.
The Shrimps started the second half brightly as well but were rocked when Ellison picked up a very soft straight red card just before the hour mark.
The former Rotherham man bundled into Steve Elliott off the ball and was given his marching orders by referee Michael Naylor.
It was a decision that lifted Cheltenham and Zebroski forced Roche into a good save and then made a mess of a counter attack as he went for an individual goal when he had players in space around him.
Despite being a man down however the Shrimps then enjoyed a period on top and Andy Fleming forced Brown into a brilliant late save with a fierce volley from the edge of the box.
With 90 minutes on the clock the visitors were still the side doing most of the pressing but were undone by an injury-time second.
As they pushed bodies forward Cheltenham broke and Carter was on hand to slide the ball past Roche to leave the Shrimps without a win in five games.
Cheltenham: Brown; Jombati, Elliott, Bennett, Jones; Pack, Deering (Penn 46), Carter, McGlashan; Zebroski (Duffy 75), Harrad (Mohamed 46). Subs not used: Lowe, Hooman, Goulding, Roberts.
Morecambe: Roche; Parrish, Fenton, McCready, Threlfall; Wright; McDonald; Alessandra (Redshaw 81), Ellison, Fleming; Brodie. Subs not used: Arestidou, Haining, Reid, Drummond, McGee, Burrow.
Booked: Fenton. Sent off: Ellison.
Referee: Michael Naylor