Mansfield boss Nigel Clough hailed an “absolutely brilliant” first-half performance from his side after they claimed a 2-1 win over League Two promotion hopefuls Salford.
First-half goals from George Lapslie and Jordan Bowery set the hosts on their way to a third straight league win for the first time in two years.
Di’Shon Bernard’s late effort ensured a nervous finish, but Mansfield held on for a thoroughly-deserved victory.
“It was important to get first back-to-backs for 14 months on Saturday and now we’ve got the three (wins in a row),” said Clough.
“We now need to keep the momentum going and see where we go.
“That was the best first half since I came here, certainly.
“I thought we were absolutely brilliant and 2-0 at half-time did not reflect our dominance and the amount of chances created.
“The only down side of the whole evening was conceding the goal in the 92nd minute.
“I thought we deserved a clean sheet and the margin should have been more than one goal.
“The pitch was difficult, but the quality of our football in these conditions was outstanding tonight.
“Second half we had to fight and scrap to defend at times and when we had opportunities nothing dropped for us second half. I thought we showed a lot of maturity as a team.”
In a one-sided first half Lapslie fired Mansfield ahead after 15 minutes with a low shot from 25 yards and Bowery forced home the second from close range after half-an-hour.
Bernard scrambled the ball home late on for Salford, but they could not find an equaliser.
Salford boss Richie Wellens said: “That was nowhere near good enough and to be honest I didn’t see it coming.
“It was a big opportunity for us tonight.
“I keep hearing people talk about play-offs and we’re going to be in and around promotion.
“I don’t necessarily see that on the pitch at the moment. Every game we’ve played, whether we’ve won or lost, has been a 50-50 game. We need more quality and to make better decisions.
“Mansfield played well. They were on the front foot and positive.
“They played the pitch well and obviously knew the parts that were really poor. We played the conditions poorly. But that’s no excuse.
“Second half we huffed and puffed, worked hard and gave it a go – and in the end we could have sneaked a point.
“But I still would not have been pleased because of our first-half performance when we just let their midfielders run.”