Stanley beat Cheltenham 2-0 to record three wins in a row for the first time this season and move back up into the automatic promotion places.

A goal in either half was enough for John Coleman’s side, who kept their third clean sheet in a row in the process, as they moved into third place above Wycombe on goal difference.

Billy Kee nodded the Reds ahead against the run of play in the 22nd minute, before strike partner Kayden Jackson capitalised on a mix-up in the Cheltenham defence to score the second just after the hour.

The best of the early chances fell to the home side, inside the opening quarter of an hour. Following the breakdown of a Stanley corner, Mohamed Eisa spurned a glorious opportunity to put Cheltenham ahead, in acres of space the forward failed to test Aaron Chapman, blasting his shot well over the crossbar.

Minutes later the home side burst forward again, the ball sat up kindly for Joe Morrell who unleashed a stinging volley which this time did work Chapman, but the Reds ‘keeper was equal to it, tipping it over the bar before berating his defence.

Then, in the 22nd minute and against the run of play, Stanley went ahead. Sean McConville found Kee unmarked with an inch perfect corner and the forward made no mistake, heading home his fifth goal in as many games.

That same combination of McConville and Kee almost doubled the Reds’ advantage in the 35th minute, this time McConville found the forward free at the back post with a swinging free-kick but Kee had Scott Flinders beaten but couldn’t keep his header below the bar.

In first-half stoppage time, Elijah Adebayo powered through and had the goal at his mercy, but to the relief of Chapman he fired his shot high and wide, preserving Stanley’s lead into the interval.

The second-half started in cagey fashion but burst into life on the hour mark as Kee fired over from Jordan Clark’s delivery, before down the other end Chapman stopped Adebayo from distance.

From the resulting punt down field, Emmanuel Onariase tried to cushion a header back to his goalkeeper but he didn’t account for the lurking Jackson who raced delightedly on to the ball before poking it beyond Flinders to double Stanley’s advantage.

Stanley smelt blood but passed up two good chances to put the game to bed, Jackson fizzed a ball across the face of goal, McConville timed his run to the back post perfectly but miscued his shot with the empty net at his mercy, before seconds later Clark stung the finger tips of Flinders with a strike from the edge of the area.

The home side looked to respond and twice struck the woodward with shots from Eisa and Harry Pell, but it was to be Stanley’s afternoon at Whaddon Road.