Nicky Maynard scored the only goal at One Call Stadium as Mansfield Town progressed to the Emirates FA Cup Second Round following a 1-0 win over Chorley.
After a tight first period on a chilly Saturday afternoon, Mansfield’s extra quality began to show against the National League outfit with the clock ticking towards full time.
And it was Maynard's poacher's instincts paid dividends as he latched onto a loose ball to turn home with his head.
John Dempster made just one enforced change from his side’s last outing with Conor Shaughnessy, who had not been given permission to play by his parent club, replaced by Will Tomlinson.
Chorley were given the first opportunity but Matt Challoner was wasteful as he fired the bouncing ball both high and wide.
Maynard was then fouled on the edge of the visitors’ penalty area, however, Otis Khan’s subsequent attempt was unable to clear the three-man wall that faced him.
The Stags striker also tried to feed the midfielder only moments later but Challoner was on hand to clear any immediate danger.
Mansfield were trying to fashion chances amongst a congested penalty area – highlighted when Kellan Gordon dug out a cross that sailed beyond everyone for a goal kick.
Soon after, Alex MacDonald picked up space in midfield but his thump arrowed wide of Matt Urwin’s target.
The hosts sought to capitalise on momentary hesitation at the back when a half-hearted clearance fell at the feet of Khan, the midfielder finding Maynard who nodded over.
Down the other end, Chorley threatened as Massanka flashed a lovely delivery across the face of goal, which Charles Vernam was only inches from connecting with.
Khan, involved yet again in the opening period, skipped past his marker before finding the palms of Urwin who had dived low to claim.
It was a first-half that lacked any gilt-edged chances and it ultimately meant the sides were unable to be separated heading into the break.
Into the second period and, much like the first, Dempster’s men had to weather early pressure from the Magpies.
They did so and almost snatched the lead in style on 52 minutes.
MacDonald’s quick throw met Gordon, who then returned the favour with a sumptuous backheel allowing the midfielder to burst forward and fire the wrong side of the upright.
Mansfield upped the ante and were starting to string one-twos around the opposition box with ease.
Maynard was the first to so nearly profit from a free-flowing move, yet his strike was blocked from close range by Adam Blakeman.
Neal Bishop had the Stags’ next shot on target but saw his drive beaten clear by Urwin.
Despite the offside flag being raised in the process, Mal Benning then fired towards the far post before substitute Danny Rose was unable to get enough contact to turn the ball home.
Lewis Baines then came narrowly close to thrusting the Magpies into the lead with a header that was turned over superbly by Conrad Logan.
And it proved to be crucial as, one minute later, the home side broke the deadlock.
Dempster’s final substitution, Jacob Mellis, fired towards goal and while an initial stop by Urwin denied the midfielder, Maynard was on hand to turn home and send the Stags' fans wild.
Chorley provided the tension in the final moments but were unable to conjure an equaliser, meaning the amber and blue booked their place in the Second Round draw.
Attentions for Mansfield turn quickly to the Leasing.com Trophy this forthcoming Tuesday as they make the short trip to face Burton Albion.
STAGS XI: Logan (GK), Benning, Preston, Bishop, MacDonald (Hamilton 64’), Khan, Maynard, Tomlinson (Mellis 78’), Sweeney, Cook (Rose 72’), Gordon.
UNUSED SUBS: Olejnik (GK), Sterling-James, Knowles, Smith, Rose.
CHORLEY XI: Urwin (GK), Challoner, Blakeman, Meppen-Walters, Ross (Newby 84’), Cottrell, Smith, Baines, Nortey, Massanka (Carver 57’), Vernam (Almond 63’).
UNUSED SUBS: Eccles (GK), Newby, O’Keefe, Dodds.
REFEREE: Savvas Yianni
ASSISTANTS: James Mainwaring & Richard Bartlett
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Simon Mather
ATTENDANCE: 2,418 (245 away)