CHELTENHAM gained the first leg advantage in their 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 bar.
Martin Ling’s side narrowly missed out on automatic promotion and finished four points above the hosts but found goalkeeper Scott Brown in inspired mood.
Robins boss Mark Yates said: “We are at half-time and are 2-0 up. It is far from over but if we play with the same attitude and quality on Thursday then we will give ourselves a chance.
“I am really pleased with the clean sheet. There were a couple of back post headers that we should have dealt with better but I’m not going to complain as the players have put another good shift in.
“We put Ben [Burgess] in to give us something different and he has certainly done that.”