In-form Albion scored four tries to run out 34-22 winners at Dockham Road and claim their 10th victory in 11 National One games.
However, Plymouth found themselves hanging on at the end having been 34-10 up after 52 minutes.
“It was a real battle royal, but an enjoyable game,” said director of rugby Dawe.
“Cinderford really tested us come the end. We were under the cosh, but the try just before half-time and Billy Searle’s break in the second half ultimately gave us the distance to stay ahead.”
He added: “It was a real banana skin and it was great to come through it with a few lessons learnt.
“Our defensive shape in the last 10-15 minutes was outstanding.
“And the final scrum when we were down to 14 was a big scrum, which pushed them back away from our try line, and then there was a big steal in the line-out after another penalty which kept them out.
“We knew this game was going to be a test mentally. Cinderford can be proud of their performance, but I think our boys can be proud of their performance as well.
“Anyone who thinks you can come to Cinderford and just walk away with a win is mistaken.”
Albion had looked good first half but they lost their way after the break.
Dawe said: “We put ourselves under pressure but with the slope and the wind in the second half it was always going to be a bit of a bun fight. Cinderford were hurt with that score just before half-time.
“We got bogged down in our 22 for too long. Our penalty count went massively high.”
Referee Ben Blain sin-binned two players from each side during the match.
Blain has averaged nearly two-and-a-half cards a game this season in National One.
“The referee likes a very disciplined game and we all paid the price with the bins,” said Dawe when asked about the four cards.
The Plymouth boss, though, was just delighted his team picked up a full five points that keeps them in fourth place.
“We are in a very competitive league and four points is brilliant, one point is okay, but five points is heaven,” said Dawe.
Lock Ed Holmes twisted his ankle at the end of the first half and was unable to play the second period. Albion are hoping his injury is not too bad.