Kudus Oyenuga scored his first goal for Hartlepool United to put Pools through to the second round of the FA Cup.
With a lifeless first half looking destined to end goalless, the winger, making his first start, scored past Dillon Phillips from 12 yards.
Cheltenham had the majority of play - and chances - but Pools held out but as much through luck as good management.
To say the first half was quiet would be an understarement.
New boy Jake Gray provided a rare bit of brightness when he went on jinking run, pulling his right-foot shot just wide of Dillon Phillips’ goal from edge of area.
By and large though, most of the play was in the home half as Pools found themselves defending way too deep.
There was a scare for Pools in the 18th minute when Billy Waters puts dangerous ball into six-yard box which Matthew Bates did well to clear.
Cheltenham got the ball into the area again on the half-hour, though the linesman’s flag was up.
Pools were forced into a change five minutes before the break when skipper Billy Paynter limped off.
Rakish Bingham made an instant impression when he came on and Pools looked much livelier, Oyenuga having a crack at goal, only to see his shot blocked.
But a goal did come. Nicky Featherstone came forward from midfield with the ball getting stuck just outside the box.
The Robins could not clear and OYENUGA took advantage, showing determination to fire in from 12 yards.
Pools won their first corner 11 minutes into the second half and while Cheltenham cleared, good play by Gray set up chance for Jake Carroll who was well wide from close range.
However, Pools were soon agonisingly near a second moments later, but Fenwick could no quite reach Bingham’s teasing low cross in front of goal.
The tie briefly went end-to-end and Waters headed wide when it looked easier to score before Harry Pell fired over from outside the box.
Pell had the next opportunity when he headed into the side-netting on 65 minutes.
Moore made his second change 20 minutes from time with Oyenuga making way for Jason Banton.
Cheltenham continued to have the lion’s share of the play and it needed a brilliant double save from Carson from point-blank range.
Thankfully too, the flag went up for offside and Pools were able to clear.
The Robins continued to control play and had a string of openings.
Danny Wright had a turn and shot which Carson saved with ease down to his left.
There was more threat, Wright heading wide from a great position, Jackson deflecting a Storer shot wide and Pell just failing to get on the end of a cross.
The drama was not over and Jackson made a tremendous block in the sixth minute of stoppage time and with the last kick of the game, Storer saw a deflected shot hit the bar.
HARTLEPOOL UNITED 1
CHELTENHAM TOWN 0
Pools: Carson, Duckworth, Bates, Jackson, Carroll, Oates, Gray (Woods 82), Featherstone, Oyenuga (Banton 70), Paynter (Bingham 40), Fenwick.
Unused subs: Bartlett, Jones, Walker, Smith
Goal: Oyenuga 45
Cheltenham Town: Phillips, Dickie, Downes, Parslow, Barthram (Dayton 54), Pell, Storer, Munns (Hall 62), McLennan (Vaughan 71), Wright, Waters.
Unused subs: Lovett, Rowe, Thomas, Dinsmore.
Referee: Eddie Ilderton
Attendance: 2,287 (away 107)