TORQUAY United played host to Cheltenham Town in what can be classed as a 'local derby' for us this season.
There was an early yellow card for Nathan Smith in the opening minutes for a foul as our visitors began brightly. They were rocked early on when George McLennan was given a straight red card for a foul on Josh Carmichael. It meant that they had to face the next 82 minutes with just ten men.
The dismissal injected life into United and James Hurst, Angus MacDonald and Dan Butler all went close to opening the scoring.
It was The Robins who took the lead, though, as a free-kick from Jack Munns was delivered onto the head of United old-boy, Aaron Downes, who made no mistake.
As United looked for a way back into the game, Exodus Geohaghon went close before Courtney Richards did well to put an inviting ball into the area where Simon Heslop was able to get in a strike which was well saved by the visiting 'keeper.
Trailing by a goal to nil at the break, Paul Cox elected to introduce both Louis Briscoe and Shepherd Murombedzi into the action in place of Heslop and Smith respectively and it was Murombedzi who soon made his presence felt when his marauding run ended with his progress halted inside the area. There were appeals for a penalty, but the referee wasn't interested.
Murombedzi led another raid shortly afterwards and this time it ended with his acrobatic effort sailed just wide of the target.
It was certainly a case of United upping the tempo early in the second period as we looked to make our extra man advantage count and Briscoe was denied by a brave block from Downes before Alex Fisher was unlucky with a header that dipped just over the crossbar.
There was a warning sign at the other end when Downes went close with a header from a corner and The Robins' second goal duly arrived as Danny Wright forced the ball home at the second attempt having been presented with an opportunity.
The goal took the wind out of United's sails and Wright almost grabbed another moments later but this time Fabian Spiess was able to deny him.
Tyrone Marsh came on to replace Joe Quigley as we searched for a way back into the game, but with a two-goal advantage, Cheltenham were able to take the sting out of proceedings.
Spiess did well to prevent a third goal as he saved with his legs but he went on to concede a penalty as the lively Wright broke through before being brought down by the 'keeper.
It was Wright who picked himself up and dusted himself down before confidently firing home from the spot to make it 3-0 and seal the points.
United kept going to the end, though, and Hurst did well to make room for a powerful strike that was smartly saved before the same player tried his luck with a stoppage time effort that flew well over.
The full-time whistle signalled a 3-0 defeat, but we have an immediate chance to put things right with a Bank Holiday Monday trip to Eastleigh.