Delighted Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans hailed his side’s courage after they thumped Grimsby Town 4-1.
A brace from skipper Krystian Pearce and two Lee Angol penalties helped Stags wrap up their first win in four attempts.
Grimsby pulled a consolation goal back when Sam Jones scored the third penalty of the game with five minutes to go.
But it failed to take the shine off the Mansfield victory.
Evans said: “I was a bit critical at half-time of the boys, they understood where I was coming from.
“I wanted us to work smart as well as hard.
“I asked the ball players to have courage to play in front of the fans and we started to pass better in the second half.
“It was disappointing to concede the goal, but I have no complaints with the decision.
“We have beaten a good Grimsby team today. I have said before that they will be in the top eight or nine and this does not change my mind.,
“We have dominated possession and our quality was there to see.
“I thought Lee Angol and Kane Hemmings worked so hard for the team. You are always pleased when the penalties go in.
“The first penalty was courageous, we will take the win, but we will not get carried away.
“I thought when we got the second goal we could get three or four because we had belief from that point.
“It was a hard earned win, but we will stay calm in the dressing room.”
Mansfield took the lead when Angol scored a 34th minute spot-kick after David Mirfin had been upended by Mills.
Scott Vernon and Siriki Dembele wasted chances to pull Grimsby level just after the restart.
And they were made to pay for it as Mansfield doubled their lead on 54 minutes when skipper Krystian Pearce volleyed home.
The points were safe six minutes later when Pearce prodded in a rebound after McKeown had pulled off a superb save to deny Rhys Bennett.
Stags made it four when Angol scored from the spot on 79 minutes after he had been brought down.
Jones pulled one back for the visitors after Bennett fouled Diallang Jaiyesim.