Stags’ boss Nigel Clough saluted his side’s clinical finishing as Mansfield hit four past Forest Green to record an emphatic victory at The New Lawn.
Ollie Clarke sensationally netted the first and fourth while frontmen Tom Nichols and Will Swan were also on the scoresheet.
Stags were ahead 1-0 at the interval despite a valiant attempted fightback by the hosts.
But Mansfield upped the gears after the break and wore down Rovers’ resistance.
“I think the scoreline flatters us a little bit,” said manager Nigel Clough, speaking to iFollow Stags.
“I just think it was [about] how clinical we were with the finishing. I don’t think it was a four-nil game.
“The teams at the top get a little bit of a break at times and the confidence kicks in and that was the difference between the two teams today.
“I think Forest Green had a few spells in the game, certainly in the last twenty-five minutes of the first-half where they were on top. We had to defend extremely well to keep a clean sheet and got away with one or two as well, which is often the difference.
“We said at half-time that we have to play better in the second-half. We changed formation within five minutes to give us a bit more solidity.“
The manager was pleased to see new signing Tom Nichols score his first goal for the goal and effectively kill off the contest to double the advantage.
“The first goal is always important but I think the second goal, especially in the context of the game today, was important also. We can then get fresh legs on.
“It was important for Tom Nichols to get his first goal for the club.
“We thought the smaller, more agile, nimble lads would cause the three centre-halves a few more problems and it couldn’t have worked out better. Tom’s scored and Will’s got one today.
“Then you see the strength of the bench, when you can bring Quinn on and Akins on, Hiram, Macca, and it doesn’t weaken the side.
“I think the bench today is the best we’ve had all season. You look around today and any of them could have started the game.”
Pleased with a second successive clean sheet, Nigel added: “We keep emphasising to the players, ‘keep professional right until the end and take great pride in your clean sheets’.”