AFC Wimbledon earned their first clean sheet in almost four months with a resolute defensive performance to deny promotion-chasers Cheltenham.
Though the football produced by the Dons was far from the swashbuckling display that brushed Cheltenham aside 4-1 in the reverse fixture, this was every bit as satisfying.
Terry Brown admitted as much afterwards and it was hard not to be impressed by the defensive qualities shown by the likes of the ever-improving Chris Bush and Mat Mitchel-King, who seems to be getting better with every game after putting his injury problems behind him.
Wimbledon made just one change from the side that started against Morecambe on Saturday with Christian Jolley restored to the Dons attack in place of Byron Harrison.
But there was little chance of Jolley’s blinding pace troubling the home defence early on as promotion-chasers Cheltenham started the strongest.
Former Dons striker Kaid Mohamed made his intentions clear from the outset and it was his pass that set-up the first chance for Jeff Goulding, but he shot into the side netting.
The hosts had another chance in the 11th minute when Cheltenham skipper Alan Bennett headed just over from a corner.
However, Terry Brown would have been happy with the first 20 minutes as the visitors silenced the home crowd, albeit without creating anything as an attacking force.
Cheltenham boss Mark Yates had pulled out all the stops to re-sign England U21 goalkeeper Jack Butland on loan from Birmingham City, but it would not have mattered who was between the sticks in the first quarter of the match as the visitors offered no threat.
The Dons almost fashioned a chance in the 28thminute though when Jack Midson just failed to get on the end of a superb through ball from Rashid Yussuff.
That was a rare moment of promise as the Dons struggled to get their passing game going, but their best spell came just before half-time.
Jolley was the architect as his sharpness caused problems, particularly for Bennett who was booked for one foul on the striker, before Sam Hatton’s clever free-kick came so close to creating a chance for Jamie Stuart.
There was a real let-off for the Dons five minutes after the break when Luke Garbett’s teasing ball in found Russell Penn just 10 yards out, but he shot straight at Seb Brown.
That was the signal for the first sustained spell of pressure from the hosts as Wimbledon’s defending became increasingly desperate.
It was enough to get an increasingly concerned Terry Brown off the bench as he urged his side to stop retreating so deep into their own half.
The visitors weathered the storm though and Wimbledon’s top scorer Midson finally had a shooting chance when he found space in the area and his shot was just deflected wide.
Talented on-loan Sunderland midfielder Billy Knott and record signing Byron Harrison were introduced for Jason Euell and Christian respectively as Terry Brown sensed that his men could pinch a win at the death.
Knott made an instant impact as his trickery opened up a shooting chance and he just curled wide of the far post with an audacious attempt.
But the Dons were forced to hang on near the end and Seb Brown came to their rescue when he tipped over a header from Cheltenham substitute Jimmy Spencer.
The 207 travelling Dons fans had one final scare to endure when Mohamed found space in the area, but his drive from an acute angle was just wide and defeat late on would have been harsh on a Wimbledon side that deserved a point for their efforts on the night.