Alex MacDonald superb 25-yard shot six minutes from time gave Mansfield overdue reward for a dominant performance at the Ricoh Arena at the Stags won it 1-0.
Steve Evans’ men held sway for long periods, creating more and better chances before the midfielder sent the away hordes into ecstasy with a delightful effort that left goalkeeper Lee Burge helpless.
The Stags then held firm in a frantic finish with goalkeeper Conrad Logan diving at Jordan Ponticelli’s feet and doing well to hold a Jodi Jones free-kick in the fifth minute of added time.
After surviving a strong Coventry start in which strikers Ponticelli and Marc McNulty both went close, Stags enjoyed a purple patch, carving out four good openings in six minutes against the league’s meanest defence.
Kane Hemmings fizzed a left-footer just wide before CJ Hamilton’s opportunism twice caused problems.
Coventry keeper Burge saved after the winger re-directed a wayward Joel Byrom shot and had to be alert again to stop Paul Anderson’s snap shot after Hamilton had surged into the home box.
The excellent spell ended with leading scorer Danny Rose recovering his footing before leaving Burge stranded with a quickly-taken shot which rattled a post.
Logan stretched to keep out a low effort from McNulty as Coventry steadied the ship before half-time.
Alex MacDonald swept a 52nd minute shot onto the roof of the net after a sublime passing move while Hemmings held his head in his hands midway through the half after curling marginally wide from the edge of the box.
A rare slip in an otherwise rock-solid Mansfield back four gifted Coventry a 79th minute corner and nearly proved costly.
Substitute Max Biamou’s close range header was on target but Hemmings was well placed on his own line to nod clear, before MacDonald struck late on.
Referee: Nicholas Kinseley 6/10
Attendance: 8,410 (1,565 away)
Match rating 3/5
Star man: Alex MacDonald
Coventry City: (4-4-2): Burge 6, Grimmer 6 (Davies 74 6), McDonald 6, Willis 5, Haynes 6 Vincenti 6 (Biamou 65 6), Kelly 5, Doyle 5, Jones 5, Ponticelli 6, McNulty 6. Subs not used: O’Brien, Stokes, Beavon, Shipley, Stevenson
Mansfield Town: (4-4-2): Logan 8, White 6, Bennett 7, Diamond 7, Hunt 6, Anderson 7 (Atkinson 83 n/a), MacDonald 8, Byrom 6, Hamilton 8, Hemmings 7 (Digby 90+4 n/a), Rose 7 (Butcher 90+2 n/a). Subs not used: Olejnik, Spencer, Potter, Sterling-James