Academy manager John Dempster hailed his team’s pressing and work rate during their 3-0 EFL Youth Alliance win over Lincoln City at the Priory City of Lincoln Academy.
Stags pounced on numerous Lincoln mistakes and strikes from Sam Jackson, Rhys Sarson and Aiden Walker put the visitors firmly in control at the break.
More chances followed as Nyle Blake, Tyrese Sinclar and Jake Dumbleton all linked up effectively and could have all contributed to the scoreline in the second-half.
The win increases Mansfield's lead at the top of the EFL Youth Alliance to 11 points with five games to play, with a local derby against Chesterfield next on the fixture list.
Dempster was keen to praise his team's tireless work ethic, saying: “I'm really pleased with the pressing, we got a few goals from having quite a high line and asking our centre-forwards to get among their back four because they like to play out, I was really pleased with the enthusiasm to press.
“There has to be that initial press with people behind the presser backing them up, putting people under pressure by supporting and cutting the passing lines to other people, so the person on the ball has fewer options and today, we did it really well.
“There are always things we can work on, but really pleased with a clean sheet.”
Centre-back, Walker, has chipped in with goals all season - usually from set-pieces - but his goal against Lincoln was a marauding run and confident one-on-one finish.
“I thought Aiden Walker was immaculate today,” Dempster said. “When he had the ball, he was like a right-winger and when they put us under pressure, he was there sweeping up, clearing balls and heading out of our box so I was really pleased with him today.”
Dempster did rue the missed chances in the second-half which would have given the scoreline more gloss.
“Jake Dumbelton and Nyle are both natural finishers and got into some really good positions and could have had at least two goals each in the second half, without being disrespectful to Lincoln,” he said.
Players from both teams struggled, at times, to deal with the unpredictable bounce of the ball due to the playing surface, but Dempster believes Mansfield coped with it correctly.
He said: “Once we got the ball down we played some good stuff, I think for the majority of the game we got the balance right.
“When it was on to play, we did, and when it was bobbling around and difficult to deal with we played it into some good areas.”