AFC Wimbledon's new manager Neal Ardley suffered defeat in his first game in charge at the hands of Cheltenham.
Byron Harrison could have put Ardley's side ahead but blasted over, a miss which was compounded when Marlon Pack volleyed in from outside the box.
Despite Ardley's side pressing for an equaliser, ex-Dons player Kaid Mohamed doubled the lead with a headed effort from Billy Jones's cross.
Harrison headed in late on, but it proved no more than a consolation.
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AFC Wimbledon manager Neal Ardley told BBC London 94.9:
"It was tough to be thrown in two days before the game and to have to get to know the boys.
"They gave everything out there and I can't ask for too much more.
"There were some positives, we created a lot of chances.
"We looked like we were going to score and I suppose that is a positive."
Cheltenham Town manager Mark Yates told BBC Radio Gloucestershire:
"Once we scored, it lifted them and we dropped off a little bit. We had to defend a little bit more than I wanted us to, but I think they've got good players.
"We've got a nasty habit of winning at the moment, away from home in particular, and defending for our lives. We've just got to keep that going.
"I had a chat with Marlon Pack on Monday, as I felt he wasn't as sharp as he could have been. I needed him to step up, and I thought he was outstanding.
"If we're up to third, then great. The players deserve to be there. It's up to us now to make sure we stay up there."
AFC Wimbledon 01 Brown 04 Harris (Long - 57' ) 15 Fenlon 24 Francomb 29 Antwi 30 Mambo 23 Yussuff (Jolley - 57' ) 28 Gregory 09 Harrison 10 Midson 11 L Moore Substitutes 33 Jaimez-Ruiz 02 Osano 22 Haynes-Brown 07 Long 12 Jolley 20 Merrifield 21 Strutton Cheltenham 01 Brown 02 Lowe 03 Jones 06 Elliott 22 Jombati 04 Carter Booked 07 Pack 11 McGlashan 16 Penn 23 Mohamed (Duffy - 74' ) 26 Zebroski Substitutes 12 Roberts 17 Andrew 08 Deering 21 Graham 09 Duffy 10 Goulding 14 Harrad