Two well-taken goals by Taiwo Atieno eased Torquay United reserves to a confidence-boosting 4-2 win over Cheltenham Town Reserves in the Totesport.com Combination at wet and windy Plainmoor.
Atieno, the former Walsall, Luton Town and Stevenage striker, has struggled to make an impact with the Gulls, after a promising start to the season. But an opportunist header and a rasping volley from the Kenya international saw United pull away in the second half, wiping out the painful memory of a recent 9-1 hammering at Cheltenham.
The match also featured a debut for the Gulls' new loan signing, centre-back Tom Aldred, from Colchester United. Aldred played alongside another new face, trialist Dan Cayford, who has previously been with Bristol Rovers and the Glenn Hoddle Academy in Spain.
The Gulls trailed to a soft goal by the Robins' Theo Lewis, who punished mistakes by Saul Halpin and Aaron Kudi in the eighth minute.
United dominated possession and territory, but had little to show for it until they scored twice in four minutes just before half-time.
First, Lloyd Macklin ended a powerful run by out-muscling Cheltenham defender Matt Williams before tucking the ball home from close range in the 41st minute.
Then, on the stroke of half-time, Halpin set up Ashley Yeoman to finish with real aplomb with a left-foot shot.
Cheltenham equalised at 2-2 four minutes into the second half when Aldred, who otherwise had an impressive game, could not clear a Ben Hadley cross and Danny Andrews scored with an acrobatic volley.
Joe Turley forced a finger-tip save from goalkeeper Martin Rice, but the longer the game went on the more United looked like winning it.
On the hour Aldred's raking diagonal ball put Lathaniel Rowe-Turner away on the left, he beat his man, crossed, and Atieno headed home. Atieno clinched victory eight minutes from time when he put substitute Danny Sullivan away on United's right, then got the ball back to play a one-two with Jordan Kewell and finish with an angled volley.
Torquay United reserves (4-3-3): Rice; Leadbitter, Cayford, Aldred, Rowe-Turner; Yeoman, McPhee, Kudi (Kewell 56); Macklin (Sullivan 65), Atieno, Halpin. Substitutes (not used): Washburn, Latimer, Ibbetson (gk).
Torquay have no new injury worries as they look forward to Saturday's FA Cup second- round tie at Sheffield United.