EOIN Doyle netted his 17th goal of the season to ensure Swindon Town remained top of League Two following a 1-0 win over Mansfield Town.

In a frenetic game at the County Ground, the Irishman’s close-range finish proved to be the difference as the Swindon defensive line showed their worth in the second to protect the lead.

Manager Richie Wellens made three changes to the side that crashed out of the FA Cup in midweek to Cheltenham in a bid to reverse fortunes and continue their excellent recent run in the league.

Paul Caddis came in to make his first start for the club since May 5 2012 – when Swindon clinched the League Two title with a 0-0 draw away at Bradford City – while the cup-tied Anthony Grant replaced Danny Rose and top scorer Eoin Doyle took the spot of Diallang Jaiyesimi.

Swindon were unbeaten in their previous five meetings with Mansfield and in the search to extend that run, the hosts made an encouraging start.

Debutante Caddis picked up the ball on the corner of the box in the eighth minute, cut inside and curled a left-footed effort off the inside of Logan's post, much to the agony of almost all of the 6,741 inside the County Ground.

Under a barrage of Swindon pressure early on, Mansfield saw Matt Preston and Alistair Smith pick up yellows before the pressure finally told.

After Grant's cross was beautifully controlled by Kaiyne Woolery at the far post, the winger's shot was far less majestic but served as a perfect cross for an unmarked Doyle to tap in from six yards out.

Swindon could and maybe should have made it two 10 minutes before the break.

Zeki Fryers picked out Rob Hunt down the left before the left-back cut back onto his right foot and crossed towards Woolery and Doyle.

The pair got in each other's way though when rising to head, and the chance was lost.

Seconds later, Conrad Logan had to be at his best to turn Doyle's scuffed effort onto the bar following a lovely team move from Swindon.

Not to be outdone, home stopper Steven Benda took his turn to perform heroics for his team up the other end.

Jacob Mellis was played through one on one, but the German stayed big to deny the visitors and maintain the score at the break.

The game continued at the same breakneck speed after the interval with Hamilton and half-time substitute Danny Rose wasting half-chances in the early moments.

Baudry and Caddis had to be at their most supple to poke the ball away from Maynard on a breakaway before Benda produced another fine save just before the hour mark to prevent Hamilton from scoring a close-range header.

The visitors had a golden chance to equalise in the 60th minute after a poorly-executed defensive header from Fryers allowed Maynard through on goal.

Benda slipped just before Maynard took his strike, but even still the striker couldn’t find the target and Richie Wellens’ men were let off the hook.

Mansfield were the team to be relieved minutes later when Yates was presented with a super chance by Doyle.

The loanee opted to try and lob Logan from close range, but overhit his delicate effort.

The rapid tempo appeared to have an effect late on as Town were happy to settle for what they had and defend their own box.

However, keeping a remarkably high line for the majority of the final 15 minutes, Wellens’ men saw out the game with relative ease to make it five league wins in a row for the first time since 2015.