CHELTENHAM TOWN 2 OXFORD UNITED 0
The competition may not be top of Cheltenham Town's priorities, but progress in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy against Oxford United will only serve to build further confidence at Whaddon Road.
Headed goals in each half for loan stars John Marquis and Koby Arthur took the Robins through to round two, with boss Mark Yates able to ring the changes and still witness an impressive performance.
Struggling in League Two, Oxford boss Michael Appleton included four changes and his side made the brighter start.
Jack Deaman had to make a well-timed challenge to deny Will Hoskins in the fourth minute after a run from right-back Joe Riley had opened Cheltenham up.
Deaman was making his home debut, with Omari Sterling-James, Andy Haworth, Arthur and Marquis all handed first starts in a team which saw six alterations from the team that started Saturday's home League Two win over Hartlepool United.
It took the new-look side time to settle and Junior Brown was prominent early on. He embarked on a skilful run in the sixth minute, driving a shot into the empty stand and Danny Hylton powered a header over from Tom Newey's cross.
Cheltenham nearly took the lead in the ninth minute when a cross from Craig Braham-Barrett caught out George Long and hit the bar.
Trevor Carson turned a free-kick from Riley around his post for a corner in the 14th minute and Brown was close with another drive.
Cheltenham grew into the game as the half progressed and Marquis headed a centre from Braham-Barrett over Long's goal.
Deaman reached Joe Hanks' cross, but Newey headed it away from inside the six -yard box and Jason Taylor made room for a shot after receiving Arthur's lay-off, but it was too high.
Cheltenham forced two corners in first-half stoppage time and from the second, Hanks' in-swinger cleared the head of Arthur and was met by a well-directed header from Marquis, who celebrated the first goal of his loan spell from Millwall.
Left-sided defender Paul Black went on in place of skipper Matt Taylor for the start of the second half for his first appearance since arriving from Mansfield Town.
Hanks smashed a shot over the bar after an hour and Sterling-James was also close after receiving Marquis' pass following a burst forward from Arthur.
At the other end, Troy Brown and Black both made important blocks in the box before Oxford's chances of battling back were hit by the dismissal of midfielder Jon Meades. He was shown a straight red card for a reckless challenge on the excellent Jason Taylor, who reacted but escaped with a caution.
Sterling-James lifted the ball over Long after a poor punch from the keeper, but it was headed away by a covering defender as a second for Cheltenham looked more likely than an equaliser for Oxford.
It duly arrived in the 79th minute when Braham-Barrett found Terry Gornell, who turned in the box, left Jake Wright on the floor and crossed for 18-year-old Arthur to nod in for his fourth goal of his loan spell from the Championship club Birmingham City.
Cheltenham Town: T Carson; T Brown, M Taylor (P Black 45), J Deaman; A Haworth, J Taylor, (M Richards 80) J Hanks, O Sterling-James, C Braham-Barrett; K Arthur, J Marquis (T Gornell 74). Subs not used: B Harrison, J Bowen.
Oxford United: G Long; J Riley, M Raynes, J Wright, T Newey; J Meades, J Ruffels (D Rose 63, C O'Dowda 87)); A Potter, D Hylton, J Brown; W Hoskins (C Morris 76). Subs not used: D Hunt, M Crocombe.
Referee: B Malone.
Attendance: 1,424 (261 away).