Cheltenham gained the advantage in their npower League Two play-off semi-final with a 2-0 win against Torquay courtesy of goals from Jermaine McGlashan and Ben Burgess.
McGlashan's first-half opener capped a fine display from the midfielder, who signed from Aldershot in January, while Burgess' measured header put the Gloucestershire side in pole position for the Wembley final.
Torquay, beaten play-off finalists last season, now have it all to do in Thursday night's second leg.
Cheltenham manager Mark Yates insists his team still have a lot of work to do.
He said: "We are at half-time and are 2-0 up. It is far from over but if we play with the same attitude and quality on Thursday then we will give ourselves a chance.
"I am really pleased with the clean sheet. There were a couple of back post headers that we should have dealt with better but I'm not going to complain as the players have put another good shift in."
Torquay manager Martin Ling insists his side are still in contention.
"I believe we are still very much in it and the first goal at Plainmoor is going to be very important," Ling said. "When we hit the crossbar after they scored their second goal it was a turning point in the game but we can still turn the tie around.
"It is going to be difficult because we know we are the big underdogs. We shall see if that's an added pressure on them. There are snipers out and bullets flying but we are not quite dead yet and (Cheltenham manager) Mark Yates will know that he is in for a big game at Plainmoor."