Mansfield boss Nigel Clough felt his improving team were thoroughly good value for their sixth win in the last seven games in all competitions.
The Stags bounced back from their 2-0 midweek defeat at Sutton to record only their second away league victory of the season with a 2-1 success at Crawley.
A late goal from the returning Rhys Oates settled the issue after James Tilley had cancelled out Ollie Hawkins’ opener mid-way through the first-half.
Clough said: “I’m very pleased, we changed things up after Tuesday, with four players coming in, and to get a sixth win in seven games is just what we wanted.
“In the first-half we were so dominant and were a bit casual at times after that.”
Clough felt former Hartlepool forward Oates was particularly influential on his return and added: “We have missed him. He chases lost causes and defenders hate that sort of thing – they can never relax.”
Mansfield were winless in 14 matches before finally finding form, and Clough stressed: “We had a lot of injuries and suspensions, but we should have got better results.
“It proves more than ever that it is a squad game.”
Crawley have not won at home in the league for two months and dismayed head coach John Yems admitted he did not think they deserved anything from the game.
The 62-year-old said: “We huffed and puffed but couldn’t blow the house down.
“We got what we deserved which was nothing. We threw it away when we were on top.”
Crawley have lost seven of their last nine games in all competitions and a continuing theme for Yems is their habit of giving away poor goals.
He added: “We’ve got to grow up pretty quickly; we must start learning.
“It’s not just the budget, it’s experience and they (Mansfield) were a team of men.”
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