That made it seven points of nine for his relegation battlers from three big games against sides up in the promotion mix and a first home league win in nine against the Stags.
“We have a long way to go still,” he said.
“We are not believing this is anything other than a start and another win ticked off the list.
“Mansfield had a 10-minute spell at the start of the second half but for the last half hour of the game I didn't feel at any point that there was an equaliser on the cards – and that is pleasing
“We have played like that the last few games. I don't think anything inspired it.
“They are up for it, they want to well for the club and they want to get us out of this mess we are in. They know how important it is for the fans.
“I told them they could make history after all the years we have not won this fixture and hopefully there are a lot of fans that are happy now.
“We will need them again Tuesday night as I think that will be our toughest game.
“These three games have been easy to get up for as we were underdogs in all of them.
“But Tuesday night there will be an expectation which makes it even tougher.”
Ardley is finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel with current form.
“There were some dark days,” he admitted.
“I said at the start of my tenure here we'd probably have some short term pain.
“That pain lasted a little bit longer than I had hoped as, even though we got fitter, stronger and more organised, we couldn't seem to turn it into the results we wanted.
“We felt we had a really good January window – we worked hard at it – and hopefully now we are seeing the benefits. They are all good players we have brought in.”
He added: “The biggest challenge for the boys now is that we don't have an 'After the Lord Mayor's Show' here on Tuesday when we have another tough game.”