TWO rash challenges in the area cost Argyle dearly in this thoroughly entertaining EFL Youth Alliance encounter at Harpers Park. Although slow to start, this game warmed up nicely and was a tight encounter until the latter stages, as Argyle were twice caught going for goal.
It was the Robins’ danger-man Aaron Evans-Harriett who provided the perfect cross for Aaron Basford to fire home at the near post and give the visitors a 19th-minute lead.
The game was level three minutes later as Jarvis Cleal sent over a superb right-wing free-kick for Ollie Tomlinson to race in at the far post and head home.
Striker Rhys Shirley had a great chance to give Argyle the lead but Cheltenham goalkeeper Freddie Lapworth was out in a flash to charge down his shot.
The significance of that miss was obvious when Ali Mansaray's rash challenge on Evans-Harriett gave the latter the chance to score from the penalty spot.
Shirley once again burst into the area, only for Lapworth to once again save his effort for his side to go in at the break with a slender lead.
Argyle emerged a stronger unit and Cleal's fine run down the right ended with his superb cross finding Rubin Wilson thundering his header into the top corner of the visitors’ net.
The pair almost repeated the dose three minutes later but this time Wilson's near-post header narrowly cleared the crossbar. Wilson was again in the thick of the action when he showed good strength to hold off his marker but Lapworth made a fine save from his angled drive.
Cheltenham's second penalty appeared to be a bit harsh as Tomlinson was penalised for a tackle on Evans-Harriett, who once again converted from 12 yards.
Argyle were caught pushing forward for an equaliser when Cheltenham broke away and skipper Tom Chamberlain's shot appeared to be going wide until Evans-Harriett arrived at the far post to fire into the roof of the net.
Argyle: Harry Townsend, Isaac Burdon, Alfie Wotton (Jeffery Forkuo 89), Ollie Tomlinson, Ali Mansaaray, Jude Boyd, Jarvis Cleal, Jermaih Medine (Charlie Miller 61), Rubin Wilson (Will Jenkins-Davies 73), Rhys Shirley, Reuben Collum (Oscar Halls 50). Substitute not used: James Morley.