Midfielder George Maris described Mansfield’s 1-0 victory over Rochdale as ‘the perfect away day’ after heroically coming off the bench to net Stags’ winner.
Nigel Clough’s men moved back into the Sky Bet League Two play-off positions with victory at Crown Oil Arena.
Maris’ inventive 66th minute finish decided the contest following a steely defensive display in which the visitors recorded their seventh clean sheet of the season.
The 26-year-old began amongst the substitutes following a run of ten consecutive starts for Mansfield in all competitions.
He was introduced on 62 minutes and soon struck the game’s critical blow after connecting with Hiram Boateng’s delicious delivery.
And Maris credited his fellow midfielder’s assist.
“H [Hiram Boateng] is quality,” he said.
“You know when he gets it on his left [foot] you’ve got to make a move into the right area. I got myself six-yards out [from goal] because I knew he could put the [perfect] delivery in and I got on the end of it.
“It was a bit of an awkward height. Everyone said I probably should’ve headed it, but I’m not the best header of the ball so I just got my foot through it.
“It’s good to keep getting on the scoresheet.”
The match-winner was praiseworthy of the defensive efforts of his teammates in shutting out Rochdale, who had won two of their last three home league games heading into the fixture.
“I think that’s the most impressive [aspect of Mansfield’s performance today],” said Maris.
“People might think it’s an easy place to come but it’s not. They beat Salford on Tuesday night, so for us to come here and stop them as we have done is a credit to us.
“The whole back five defended very well all game. The lads dug in and did well, I thought we deserved the three points for the way that we played. I thought we were the better team throughout.”
The Mansfield number 10 admitted he and his teammates were spurred on to victory by Stags’ following of 1,174 fans.
“They were unbelievable, from minute one they were singing” he said.
“We haven’t picked up many points in the last few games but they [still came] in their numbers and they got us over the line in the end so credit to them. They’ve been doing that all season and long may it continue.”