Midfielder Ollie Clarke says Stags produced a ‘good team effort’ this afternoon to edge past Barrow in a hard-fought 1-0 win at One Call Stadium.
Mansfield’s number eight netted the match-winner on 72 minutes – rifling a strike into the bottom corner to extend the club’s unbeaten streak this season to 11 matches.
Speaking to iFollow Stags post-match, he said: “That was a good performance from us and a good team effort to grind out a 1-0 win.
“We weren’t at our fluid best but it’s a nice feeling to win and score the goal.
“They’re a tough team to play against. They’re probably more direct than what we’ve been used to at times this season.
“We dealt with that quite well.”
There was little goal mouth action in the opening 45 minutes but the 31-year-old felt confident Stags would find the opener when attacking the Quarry Lane End.
“It was one of those games where you get in 0-0 at half-time and you think ‘coming back down towards our fans in the second-half is something to draw us in really,’” he said.
“The ball can be sucked home sometimes when the crowd is really on our side.
“Today it was one of those where we grew into it in the second-half.”
On his goal, Ollie said: “I’ve always been comfortable on both feet to strike a ball and that was perfect for me.
“Edge of the area – low drive and it was great to see it go in.”
Despite missing the majority of pre-season, and therefore not being fully match fit, the midfielder made this afternoon’s all-important difference.
“Match fitness is the hardest to come by and I missed all the pre-season fixtures,” he said.
“I was miles behind going into the first week and then I was doing extra running and your body takes time to recover from sessions.
“I’ve got over the first few games now and now I’ve got to get the sharpness in and get up to speed as quickly as possible.”
Stags move into the top three with today’s win and remain unbeaten this season in all competitions.
“It’s what we knew we needed to do. We’ve been there or there abouts for the last couple of years.
“This season we’ve got the squad and the foundations have been built over a period of time where we can really go at it and go after teams.
“Everything is in place for us to really go on a good run this year and hopefully deliver what we’ve set out to do for the last two or three years.
“Hopefully we can carry on.”