Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough was understandably ecstatic with his team’s performance following their 4-0 win away at bottom-of-the-table Forest Green Rovers.
Man of the Match Ollie Clarke bagged a brace, with Tom Nichols and Will Swan also getting on the scoresheet to help the second-placed Stags keep up the pressure on league leaders Stockport County.
The Nottinghamshire club have been in decent form recently, with just one loss in their last five matches in England’s fourth tier. That solitary defeat came at the hands of AFC Wimbledon at the end of January.
They have taken eight points from a possible 15, including three in the derby win over Notts County last weekend when Town battled to a 1-0 win courtesy of a goal from top scorer Davis Keillor-Dunn.
Mansfield Town followed this up with an emphatic victory over the Green Devils at the weekend but head coach Clough admitted in his post-match interview that the scoreline flattered his side a little. Speaking to club media, the 57-year-old said:
“I think the scoreline flatters us a little bit, 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,” he continued.
“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 Stags come up against in-form Harrogate Town on Tuesday, who occupy the final playoff spot. The Sulphurites have won four of their last five and could be a difficult game for Clough’s men.
Mansfield Town have hit form just at the right time, as we enter the business end of the season. Gaining automatic promotion has to be the aim now that the Stags have their tails up and have their sights set on Stockport.
The signings of defender Aden Flint, keeper Christy Pym and strikers Swan and Nichols have all added something different to an already impressive squad at Field Mill that could push on and escape from League Two for the first time in a decade.