THE boys are back in Town!

Andy Booth and Luke Beckett started alongside each other for only the sixth time this season and the first in nine matches.

And both experienced strikers made the scoresheet as Town picked up a tonic triumph to climb two places to 14th in League I.

Beckett pounced in the 31st minute and Booth in the 43rd as Peter Jackson's hard-working side finally gained some reward for their first-half dominance.

In a match played in a strong wind, it was inevitable Cheltenham would press forward when they had the advantage of the elements in the second half.

So it was pleasing that Town kept a clean sheet - only their sixth in 31 matches this season - and that they would have won by three had Chris Brandon's 74th-minute effort not smacked against the bar.

It was a crucial toss to win, and returning skipper Jon Worthington, back after two games out with a groin injury, did just that, electing to play towards the Panasonic Stand.

The way Cheltenham keeper Shane Higgs' kicks from hand were held up showed how strong the gusts were.

And Town were soon trying their luck on goal, with Worthington and Booth putting early shots over.

Gary Taylor-Fletcher, who caused the Cotswolds side no end of problems with his raids down the right, had the first shot on target in the eighth minute, when he cut in and fired low from the edge of the box to bring a fine save from Higgs, who also blocked Booth's follow-up header.

Cheltenham's only pre-interval attack of any note came after 10 minutes, when Higgs' opposite number Matt Glennon parried Steven Gillespie's shot then saved as David Bird tried to head the loose ball home.

From then until the break, it was all Town, with Booth heading wide from Matty Young's cross and Beckett high from an Andy Holdsworth centre.

On 29 minutes, Beckett shot just over on the turn from a very neat Taylor-Fletcher pass, but within 120 seconds, frustration had turned to joy as the former Sheffield United man got behind the visitors' defence to guide the ball home as Martin McIntosh flicked on Taylor-Fletcher's long throw.

It was Beckett's seventh goal of the season on his first start in nine games, and Town were good value for a lead which was almost doubled two minutes later, when Booth headed into the side-netting from another Holdsworth cross.

Taylor-Fletcher came close with an angled shot after an edge-of-the-area one-two with Booth on 38 minutes.

And Town finally made it two when Booth volleyed home after the persistent Young forced Michael Townsend to rush a clearing header.

There was a slight deflection off Gavin Caines, but Higgs, while going the right way, hardly had it covered, and Booth was left to celebrate his sixth goal of the season.

Booth mis-hit a Taylor-Fletcher cross and Beckett was baulked by a fine last-ditch tackle from Shane Duff as Town resumed brightly.

But Cheltenham had chances too, with Bird driving a 56th-minute shot narrowly wide before Gillespie ran onto Caines' cross, only to be robbed by a timely David Mirfin challenge.

In between those chances, Young shot wide from Taylor-Fletcher's pass while Brandon's angled effort on 67 minutes was saved.

Higgs couldn't get close enough when Brandon lashed in a shot from Holdsworth's free-kick, so he must have been relieved to see the ball rebound off the bar.

Town deserved a third given the way they coped with the the wind, but there were few complaints about a 2-0 scoreline and a display which must now be replicated at Bournemouth.

Turning Point:

Andy Booth's cracking 43rd-minute finish (a chance partly created by the persistence of hard-working Matty Young) was a kick in the guts for Cheltenham and put Town in the unfamiliar position of being two up. Even more unusually, it was the aerial master's second successive goal with his feet, and sweetly struck it was too!

Matt Glennon Not that busy but made the saves he needed to to chalk up a sixth clean sheet since joining Town in the Summer. Rating: 7/10

Andy Holdsworth Played his part in a solid defensive effort and put in some decent crosses, not always an easy task given the conditions. Rating: 7/10

Joe Skarz Very competent. Had a couple of small slips, but recovered well. Twice got in crucial safety headers. Rating: 7/10

Martin McIntosh Committed display from the man told he is free to leave. Could yet make Peter Jackson change his mind. Rating: 7/10

David Mirfin Back in business after a couple of patchy displays. Made great goal-saving challenge on Steven Gillespie Rating: 7/10

Gary T-Fletcher Very lively on the right, especially in the first half. Cheltenham looked anxious every time he had the ball. Rating: 7/10

Jon Worthington Worked hard and was very influential. Came in for some rough treatment but avoided any retaliation. Rating: 7/10

Matty Young Took suspended Michael Collins' central midfield berth and did himself a lot of favours with a busy and honest display. Rating: 7/10

Chris Brandon Always tried to be positive and was unlucky not to count with a late effort against the woodwork. Rating: 7/10

Andy Booth Continues to churn out quality performances and grabbed another goal with foot rather than (usual) head. Rating: 7/10

Luke Beckett Back in the starting side and showed if he gets a decent chance, he has the quality and calmness to take it. Rating: 7/10

Spotlight on the Ref:

Norfolk's Mike Thorpe made a couple of strange decisions in the second half (giving Cheltenham a corner when a long ball seemed to sail out high above any Town player, but not when David Mirfin made a crucial tackle on Steven Gillespie) but overall he made a good fist of a match which was played in pretty awkward conditions.


Higgs, Caines, Lowe (Melligan 57), Finnigan, Townsend, Duff, Bird, Armstrong, Gillespie (Reid, 75), Odejayi, S Brown. Subs not used: Connolly, Wylde, S Brown (g). Caution: Armstrong.